What do you listen to while working?

Do you listen to music while you work, or would you prefer absolute peace and quiet? There is some research that indicates “a moderate (70dB) versus low (50dB) level of ambient noise enhances performance on creative tasks…A high level of noise, however, reduces the extent of information processing and thus impairs creativity”. I guess this means running a chain saw is not the best environment for composing a Haiku.

Music may be an obvious choice while you work, but here are a couple of other alternatives, streaming from the internet:

Coffee shop ambient sounds, or-

Ambient bird calls from a Brazilian forest.


via boingboing.net

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “What do you listen to while working?”

  1. I am a peace and quiet guy. I like music while i am driving but always turn off the radio and roll my window down when passing through a town, even in winter. My wife and kids hate that. I have found that classical music at low volume while I work in the shop is keeps my stress level down. As goofy as it may sound I find loud music with lyrics to adversly affect my situational awareness……I tend to concentrate on what the musician is saying rather than the task at hand. Being a musician myself probably does not help.

  2. I know this will sound weird but I enjoy listening to my scanner while I work. Of coarse not everyone in my house enjoys me doing that. I get several requests a day to turn my scanner down.

  3. 🙂 on the chainsaw, Bill.

    Several of us freelancers have discussed this and nearly all (small sample) agreed that doing design work requires music and writing/editing does not (or it might even interfere with the work). This is because design is a right-brain activity, and because the left brain tends to overpower the right brain, it’s good to have music on because it will OCCUPY the left brain and allow the right brain to do the design work.

    Many physical activities are right-brain: catching a baseball is a good example. There’s NO WAY your left brain can do all the calculations of speed, distance, angle, etc., and reach up to catch the ball. For your right brain, it’s a snap. I expect falling a snag is the same way — we’ve all heard about a guy who overthinked the project and outsmarted himself and landed the snag on an unintended bed (e.g. pickup truck).


Comments are closed.