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68

The only research I know about the subject, and still one of my favorite cognitive science research pieces was described in Peopleware (A great book). I don't have it now, so I can't find the bibliography, but I can reproduce the text (copy pasted from the top comment here, which is accurate if my memory serves me: "Do you listen to music while ...


42

The following statements are based on personal experience. I always have my headphone with me, but put it on only 40% of the time. It really depends on the person, so you might need to experiment it out yourself. First of all, it depends on the person. For myself, I will kind of ignore the music when I'm on serious working mode. During the unproductive ...


23

There are three key factors that affect the quality of your working environment; the physical setup of the space itself, distractions, and interruptions. Physical setup. The ideal space should be comfortable, ergonomic, and adequately lit and ventilated. If it's uncomfortable (too hot/cold, cramped, poorly laid out), you won't enjoy working there. If you ...


18

According to my experience with using music, and opinions of my colleagues, I think: If music is louder than some level (very personal thing), it greatly hurts productivity. In this case you can start to sing the lyrics or the melody instead of working. If music used is with some lyrics, which is not very well known by you, it hurts productivity. In ...


16

What about a pair of headphones? Nothing says that you have to play music in them. :)


16

Generally, I find music (no lyrics) and songs that I'm pretty familiar with less distracting. I even use them sometimes as sort of "white noise" to help me focus more as they "shield" me from other noises around me in my work place. Yet, my best way when I really need to focus for long periods of time, is to refuge to white noise like "rainy mood". The ...


12

Mozart Effect 1 is neutral at best Even if music improves performance in some settings and on some tasks, there is evidence that the effect is not general in the sense that it does not apply in other tasks. Bridget and Cuevas (2000) found that, when compared to a no-music condition, listening to music by Bach or Mozart for 10 minutes produced no ...


12

Don't overthink this. If you forgot to take a kettle off the stove, you should go and take the kettle off the stove. No productivity technique is worth letting your house burn down. The purpose of pomodoro is to keep you from being distracted by mundane things like phone calls and emails, and not to make you ignore dangerous situations like a fire or an ...


10

Coincidentally, I recently wrote a blog article entitled "Music to Code By", which talks about the best (and hence worst) attributes for music to listen to when you're trying to concentrate. These attributes are (in summary): Unobtrusive Lyrics Consistency Uplifting theme So, to answer the question directly: The right music can help, but the wrong music ...


9

This really depends on the person, but in general, music does tend to have positive results on your mood and abilities. For this reason it will usually cause people to be more productive. What would hurt productivity is if music is coupled with a stressful environment, because then the mind would be overloaded. While I would lean to the side of saying that ...


9

Such studies do exist, one of the more prominent probably being the ones conducted in Gonzalez, Mark 2004 (link dead) and Mark, Gonzalez, Harris 2005. There's a good breakdown in a NY Times article dating Oct 2005. Her summary was that on average, a task would be worked on for 11 minutes before an interruption would kick in. This interruption would lead to ...


8

I made two observations on this highly subjective topic (and I can only speak for myself): Rhythmic music tends to enhance my productivity, especially rock which is normally not my favourite kind of music. But I also like listening to wicket death jazz (highly dissonant and off-beat) and the complexity doesn't hurt me (as stated by @VMAtm). Melancholic ...


7

For me, it depends a lot on the task and my mood. With repetitive tasks, it's probably helpful - it makes me more likely to finish them instead of getting distracted with something else. With tasks demanding a lot of concentration (programming, mostly) it's either distracting, or neutral if I'm focused enough that I stop noticing it at all. Overall, if I ...


7

Well, for the same reasons you might want to track your performance in a certain situation, it might be a good insight to track down the interruptions you're facing while using the Pomodoro technique. Even if you are an experienced user. For this technique to work well, the less you interrupt the 25min or so minutes, the better you will perform in those ...


6

For tuning out noise, you have to figure it out. Noise canceling headphones, background noise, etc. I find people who want to talk to you more interesting to solve because it involves other people. I actually have a "do not disturb" sign at work. It's not up much, but the few hours a week it is, people leave me alone and let me focus! My sign actually ...


6

Could you get your office to agree that cell phones ringing are the equivalent of swearing? If so, then you could probably use something like a swear jar as a way to get past this issue. How to Start a Swear Jar being an article about the idea if you aren't familiar with it. The idea being that you are penalizing the behavior you want to stop so that ...


6

Well I have two approaches to overcoming any addiction or habit I want to curb... First, (Which only works if you have self discipline) the problem is your productive behaviors are getting compromised by your more enjoyable behaviors. Set yourself a rule (write it down) on how much distraction is allowed, if you violate that distraction you punish yourself ...


5

Have tiered interruptions; be able to decide quickly what's worth paying attention to, and what's just another distraction. Forget about everything but the task at hand. It will be tempting to keep other things in mind, but you must push everything else out and lose yourself in your work. (Subject to high-tiered interruptions, mentioned above) Keep a list ...


4

I find myself sometimes pausing the music im listening to when working on a difficult concept/problem but leave my headphones in to cancel out background noise.


4

Listening to love songs makes me put more love into my code. So music is a good thing while coding.


4

As a user of both pomodoro technique and GTD, I think there isn't a definitive answer that will work for all people in all cases. My advice is that if you decide to let moving the kettle distract you from the current pomodoro, you should void the pomodoro and start over. As you note, that will help you plan better to control your working environment. On ...


3

A possible solution to your predicament is to identify possible methods to quickly regain concentration on a subject after it has been lost. An example of this is when you are reading a book/article and you get interrupted. Make a careful note of where you stopped (maybe even highlight it), so you don't reread sections when you lose track of where you are. ...


3

I would have added this as a comment if I had enough points but here's an insight: I have a simple solution that work very well for me. I use very good noise cancelling headphone. I can't hear anything around me with them on, so I get focused on my computer screen. Sometime, it even goes to the point of not seeing my surrounding. Moreover, if my colleagues ...


3

I think I remember reading that generally it does affect concentration/performance negatively. People who are really used to working with music, perform better with than without it. But they stay below the level of the others (who aren't used to listening to music while working) when those don't listen to music. I think this was based from research, I read ...


3

Well, that's just life. You have to force yourself to work amid all these disruptions. Unless you have a private office at work, noise and disruptions are present everywhere and you just have to condition yourself to work at less than ideal conditions all the time just like everyone does. I attended a workshop where a successful blogger and freelance writer ...


3

This is not exactly for your question but I want to suggest you,especially for kind of these times using Interrupters Log Worksheet Here their suggestions; Keep An Interrupters Log Analyze and Conquer Interruptions Put Your Phone to Work for You (Not Against You) Catch Your Breath Learn to Say "No" "Available" and "Unavailable" Time ...


3

Another useful reason for writing down interruptions is that it makes them less attractive; this is especially useful for internal ones. Say you are tempted to interrupt what you are doing to check your email. You are likely to be doing so because email is easier than the task you should be doing. But knowing that you need to log the interruption makes ...


3

The first step is realizing that you feel like you have a problem. Whatever your happy time is, you find that it has taken up a significant portion of time that you would have otherwise wanted to use for other things. Don't become bored by what your doing, and literally stop yourself when you see that you are doing other things. A big portion of this is ...


2

I believe that there are lots of ways to reduce interruptions at work. Like when you are working in a home office with many people around, all you need to do is go to your room put a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside the door and lock it. Another great way to avoid distraction is “Airplane Mode” that will turn all your gadgets, like your mobile phone, off. This ...


2

Hearos earplugs work extremly well if you want to cancel out noise. It's dead silence if you insert them correctly. After 6-8 hours you feel that you have to get them out, they get uncomfortable after that much time.



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