WORKPLACE / AUG. 15, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Music: A Legal Drug to Increase Productivity

Music has always been a part of who we are as a people. From long before we had iPods and phones that could play anything on the go, we still made some form of music. There is actually science that shows just why this is, which you can find in the above video. Here, I will give you a summary of just what it does to your brain and a few ideas for implementing it into your life.

Your Brain Digs It

Music is just like any addictive drug. Try going for a few days without any music. I did this for a while, listening to talk radio over music while driving around, and I started to lose motivation to do things. I put on some Queen, AWOLNATION, and Calvin Harris. Immediately, I felt motivated and excited and creative again. I knew there had to be a reason, so I started looking around. It turns out that dopamine is released when we listen to music. Our pupils will dilate and our blood flow increases. Essentially, we are getting the same effects as any other drug. So the same reason people skydive, that adrenaline rush that releases dopamine in great quantities, music does so in a constant, yet lesser stream.

Listening at Work

Most office settings are okay with music on low levels or in earbuds as long as it is not distracting. Make sure your supervisor is fine with you listening to music at work before you start running with it. Most smart phones, if your computer can’t access these two services, have apps that can be used:

Pandora: This is a great service to find new music as you type in a song, artist or style that you like and let it play similar selections. You can like or dislike songs and the station will customize itself based on your preferences. There are ads, but you can pay a monthly subscription, about $5, to play all you want without any ads at all. The only issue for some is that you do not get to choose your particular song, instead you listen to songs chosen by the software. I’ve found a ton of great music through this service and highly recommend it.

Spotify: When Spotify came out it took the industry by storm. You can listen to anything you want at any time and the premium subscription is around $10 a month. It is a fantastic service, but as I like to stumble on new artists I still prefer Pandora. If you have a limited data plan, you may find more use from Spotify as Pandora streams the music all day and Spotify can actually load up a playlist for you.

Of course, your phone can just load up music that you have purchased as well. Ultimately, what you listen to doesn’t matter much. When I write I tend to focus on classical so I don’t start singing along and add words into the stuff I’m writing from the song, but whatever gets your blood pumping is what you should go with.

 Image Via: UltimateClassicRock

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