As an ex-professional musician and music teacher, sounds are very important to me. I’ve written a review in the past about Ommwriter which I think is a wonderful writing tool thanks to both its simplicity and the range of ambient sounds it provides. You can just write with that program and do so chilling at the beach, working on a train or whatever kind of mood grabs you.
Today, I’ve read George Ciotti’s superb article at his site Sparring mind where he talks about the use of music to increase your productivity. The psychology of music and how it affects our mood, creativity and even intelligence is a subject I’ve taken a keen interest in for many years and even taught about the impact of music to my students in the past. All psychology research is subject to interpretation and often much criticism of course, so we have to be careful what we proclaim as fact, but Ciotti’s article strikes a nice balance between giving useful, interesting information about current research and actually giving solid practical advice to the writer.
What I particularly like is his copious number of music examples. I would not have believed him when he said listening to the soundtrack of SimCity was a good move had I not played the link he gave. I don’t play that game and I expected a cheesy electronic muzak. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.
Similarly, as I write this, I’m listening to a storm produced courtesy of rainymood.com – thanks to Ciotti’s suggestion and helpful link – which is now bookmarked permanently in my list of helpful sites for writers. It’s odd but there’s something about working to the sound of rain!
I strongly recommend you read this article and make use of at least some of the examples Ciotti provides. It is, quite simply, the best and most practically useful article I’ve read on the web concerning music and productivity. You’re sure to find something there to help you write more fluently and creatively.
How music affects your productivity
Music has a way of expressing that which cannot be put into words.
It is for this reason (and many more) that music is regarded as one of the triumphs of human creativity―but does music itself help one to create?
This is an important question to examine, because music has increasingly become apart of the modern-day work session.
The soldiers of yore may have faced insurmountable odds to the sound of trumpets, but we desk jockeys are typically left to fend off our piling inboxes with nothing more than iTunes.
With so much of our work now being done at computers, music has become an important way to “optimize the boring.”
Though it may be a fine way to avoid habituation, the question remains: does music actually make you more productive? More focused? More creative? Or is all that a placebo?
People like me need to know. For nearly all of my work sessions, I have music playing in the background. I once wrote 10,529 words on customer loyalty (how exciting) listening to nothing other than the SimCity 2000 soundtrack… and yes, more on that later.
Am I actively sabotaging myself, or is music spurring me to do better work?
Let’s take a look at the research.
To continue with this article click here.