Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

Habits to Work

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hooker, Nov 4, 2011.

?

Do you listen to music when you work/study?

  1. Yes, it definitely helps drown out other people and focus on my work.

    73 vote(s)
    60.3%
  2. No, it's distracting as hell.

    48 vote(s)
    39.7%
  1. hooker

    hooker
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,154
    Now that I'm back in school, I'm finding it next to impossible to get anything done at home. I associate home-time with unwinding, so trying to pump out a 30 page Direct Marketing plan brief is the last thing I'm motivated to do while I'm sitting on my couch watching hockey with one hand down my pants and the other holding a beer.

    I started taking my laptop to Starbucks and trying to get shit done there. Even that is distracting.

    Now I just come in to the office after-hours, because it's quiet, there's nobody here, and there isn't much to do or see that's more exciting than the work on my screen.
     
  2. Elset

    Elset
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    near Boulder, CO
    I can only listen to classical/instrumental/soundtrack while I'm trying to get anything done. Otherwise I start listening to the words which distracts me. I'm terrible at multitasking. When there's no words it eventually just turns into background noise and I can work through it.

    Clint Mansell playlist on Pandora is my go to.
     
  3. Trickysista

    Trickysista
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    48
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    the burbs, PA
    When it comes to school work, I need quiet or else I can't focus. Like Chater, the beats get stuck in my head and I start singing along. Before I know it, I'm having a dance party. I've tried listening to jazz or classical music, but even then I start humming.

    However, at work, I have to be listening to music or I get irrationally angry at the conversations I overhear. I sit next to four older, ignorant women and just the thought of them makes my blood boil. Listening to my music also helps drown out their music, which is a mix of today's current pop (i.e. Katy Perry) and soft rock. Kill me.
     
  4. katokoch

    katokoch
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    477
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,631
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    If I'm doing simple, repetitive work like data entry or sending out tons of emails I have the Stevie Ray Vaughan station on Pandora playing. I also have a surround-sound system in my workshop and 92.5 KQRS is the only station that gets played.

    Otherwise I'd have to head to an actually quiet library for studying/reading/writing papers. I'm easily distracted so that's where I go when I'm working more with my brain and less with my hands.

    My job currently entails making lots of phone calls and then waiting for receptionists to transfer me around, so I hear a minute or two of everything from the worst imaginable soft rock/jazz (Fuck you Kenny G) to Neil Young to Stevie Wonder. It's tough to guess what I'll get to listen to during a call.
     
  5. Binary

    Binary
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    387
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,074
    I generally like quiet time when I'm working or studying. Since this is not practical at work, I have found that I can focus if I have extremely familiar music playing - often I put on something like 90s grunge music on that I've listened to enough where I'm not looking for nuances and can just let it fade into the background. If it's not something that I've listened to a hundred times, I quickly get distracted by the music. I tried classical music but most of it is just too complex so even if I've listened to it a lot, I can't let it just disappear.

    I also have my desk facing away from most of the movement in my office - I can't see aisles/hallways when I'm facing my computer, and the music drowns out the noises that might otherwise cause me to look around. I am very easily distracted by movement - I'm a compulsive people-watcher when I'm in public places and it's no different at work.
     
  6. Frank

    Frank
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,351
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm significantly more productive at everything when I have music.

    1) When at work or studying material I'm comfortable with (usually doing practice problems) I can listen to anything and be fine.
    2) When I'm studying new material I need to be listening to something without lyrics.

    My productivity, specifically with work is MUCH lower without music, I fall off focus and get distracted without it. Sometimes at work if I'm doing something menial, last I remember was stuffing envelopes (small companies have their disadvantages), I was faster when I threw on Netflix.

    Oh and my go to stations are Steve Perry and Grateful Dead for scenario 1, and just the classical genre station for scenario 2.
     
  7. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,149
    I work best with music on, and coffee in my system. Not only does having the Ipod on the radio (or preferably in my ear) keep me from talking to people, which distracts me and slows me down, it helps me focus and move more quickly in and of itself. Without music, I can still get work done, but not nearly as efficiently.

    If I'm at home working on some type of paperwork or looking up something online that requires concentration, I usually turn the music off, which is the opposite of what I used to do. Still, if I'm cleaning my place up, and I really want it to look nice, I have a smoke, put on my Ipod, and an hour later I've done a power clean job that would put any housekeeper to shame. And say what you want....I'm my own little cleaning bitch, and I'm fucking GOOD at it.
     
  8. MainEvent007

    MainEvent007
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    From a neurobio perspective, your brain actually isn't capable of focusing on the music and doing work at the same time. As a result, your performance on both is actually lowered than just doing one or the other. Multi-tasking isn't a real thing, you just switch attention between the two at an incredibly high frequency. I could go way more into the details of that but why waste the time?

    That being said, even after taking a LOT of neuro classes that discussed attention, I still listen to music when I'm doing work sometimes. It all depends what I'm doing - if I'm doing a problem set, I'll normally throw the Deadmau5/Afrojack/Avicii Pandora station on or listen to a BBC Essential Mix or a live mix from Ultra or something. If I'm reading or memorizing stuff, I can't have any music playing. I had an ex who HAD to have the TV on when she did work. Not only did that mean that I was distracted from the audio, but the visual stuff was also distracting then. That shit was annoying. I never understood how anyone could get work done with the TV on, even if it's something you've seen a thousand times.
     
  9. ASL

    ASL
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    ABQ
    I like having music in the background, but it has to be instrumental only. If there are words I get distracted and focus on them instead of what I'm supposed to be doing.
    I don't always listen to music, but when I do, I choose instrumental.
     
  10. Angel_1756

    Angel_1756
    Expand Collapse
    The Big Four-Oh

    Reputation:
    380
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,909
    Location:
    The T-dot O-dot one-of-a-kind
    I'm the polar opposite. If it's classical, I'll sit down and my fingers will automatically start playing it on the table, my thigh, whatever happens to be nearby. It's unbearably distracting. Jazz is worse because I can't follow it, so it frustrates me and makes focusing all the more difficult.

    99% of the time, if I need to focus, I can't listen to music for that exact reason. But if I need to memorize something - because my memory is appallingly bad - I listen to something with words because if I hear that tune in my head and can focus on the words of the song, it'll jog my memory to whatever I was studying while listening to it.
     
  11. effinshenanigans

    effinshenanigans
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    145
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,950
    Location:
    CT
    I can only listen to ambient or instrumental music when I'm working on something. Anything with words becomes too distracting and I lose focus.

    If anyone is looking for an awesome album to work to, check out Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night. It basically got me through college. It's all acoustic guitar and it's really good. The Cinematic Orchestra Pandora station is also one of my go-to stations at work.
     
  12. bewildered

    bewildered
    Expand Collapse
    Deeply satisfied pooper

    Reputation:
    1,222
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,970
    I tend to work furiously in spurts. Those spurts can be of widely varying lengths. Last night, it was 4.5 hours. Other times, maybe 2 hours to finish a draft of a paper, or 30 minutes to finish a small assignment. I need complete silence with few distractions. If I'm on my computer, no other windows can be open. Otherwise, my computer is put away, I'm not drinking coffee or eating a snack. Nothing. I get my brain into gear and bang it out.
     
  13. ssycko

    ssycko
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,550
    Location:
    Being not a hipster
    Yeah, I think the whole "having music on while working" is more like a comfort blanket than it is a method of increasing productivity. Like was said before, you're either listening to music or you're working, you're not doing both at the same time. I'm betting if everyone saying "I NEED music to work well" tried working without music for a little while, their quality/productivity would go up.
     
  14. Frank

    Frank
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,351
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm can't dispute this necessarily, but I find that when I don't have music my mind wanders very quickly, maybe I'm only doing my work at 80% capacity, but I'll take eight straight hours of that than 100% capacity but losing focus every few minutes.

    And I've tried no music, in fact the last year at my last job they forced us not to listen to music, my productivity went down and never came back up.

    And do we have data that supports that 100% of people are less productive with music 100% of the time? I don't think we're quite there in terms of making blanket statements about the entire human race on something like this.
     
  15. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
    Expand Collapse
    Honorary TiBette

    Reputation:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Location:
    we out
    This strikes me as particularly odd coming from a whore. How else do you drown out the shrieking spectre of your own unfulfilled need?
     
  16. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,149

    This. Without music, I am constantly daydreaming at work and when I go to bed. My job requires a lot of speed and multi-tasking, but overall it's not very mentally challenging. Hell, I can be sitting here streaming Sons of Anarchy, a show that's pretty engrossing, and half the time I have it playing on one side of the screen while playing Minesweeper on the right. Honestly, without a sufficient level of input, my imagination is active at a level I doubt is rarely seen in anyone over the age of 12. It's absolutely maddening at times, and putting on some music while I work is perfect, because it shuts out all the noise, all the overanalysis, and gives a constant background input that gives my brain something to put some attention on while allowing me to focus the majority of my attention on my job. The result is more speed, more efficiency, and increased concentration compared to when I don't have music going.

    I'm sure that doesn't work for everyone - in fact, I'm pretty sure my thought processes and the general way my brain works are almost alien from the average - but it does work for me. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    And there are two exceptions to all of that: Talk radio (specifically Neil Boortz) and country music. I can't tune either of them out when they're being played at work, and since most of my coworkers nearly swooned when I played Josh Abbott Band (and a preemptive fuck you, Frank. It's gay, I know. Call it a guilty pleasure), I have to bear that a lot. I try to tune it out, but every time a popular country song comes on the radio, I feel another piece of my soul die.
     
  17. Frank

    Frank
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,351
    Location:
    Connecticut
    This is the best way to describe it for me, it's not even that I need to drown out other people around me, I need to drown out myself. And I'm not talking about stopping myself from checking funny websites, I'll literally get lost in my own thoughts and stare at the screen doing nothing for long periods of time. And it's been like this since I was a kid, long before I listened to music.
     
  18. lyle

    lyle
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    UK
    I'm doing a lot of data entry at the moment and listening to music helps me a lot to plow through the work. Without it my mind would actually realise just how mind numbing and boring the work actually is. At least with something in the background I've got a little rhythm to type, hole punch and staple to.
    However this only works if I'm listening to something ambient/instrumental, anything with a lot of lyrics causes my attention to focus more on the music than what I'm typing and I end up making a fuckton of errors and mistakes.
     
  19. lust4life

    lust4life
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    Deepinthehearta, TX
    I always listen to music when I'm writing. Whether I'm working in my home office or my office on campus, there's always noise in the background that's too distracting. I downloaded a piece from iTunes called Concentration Music that's a collection of classical music that's light and up tempo. But when I'm done with the content and just formatting and doing my reference pages, I'll switch it over to the Stones or Elvis Costello. When it's reading, it depends. With some of my textbooks or journal articles I can listen to instrumentals, others I can't. I usually do that reading in the master bathroom.
     
  20. CarbonCopy

    CarbonCopy
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    247
    I would love to be able to listen to music at work but I have somewhere close to 1,000 interruptions during the day like phone calls and office visits and it gets too annoying to turn it up, then down, then back up. When I work past normal office hours I always have something playing. Like some others here it helps turn down the background noise in my head. Along the same line, I seem to get a lot done when I come in hungover. I usually only have enough mental energy for the task at hand and that keeps my mind from wandering.

    Back when I was in school the only homework I could do with music playing was math. If I had to do any reading the music just got in the way. It felt like the two were competing and I couldn't enjoy either.