music to focus, not distract, at work.

It’s a never ending debate. Should employees be able to check their personal email at work? Should they be able to post to twitter/facebook at work? Should they be able to listen to music at work? To the last question, I say YES! (Of course, depending on the job/personality.) According to the CNN Article – “Listening to music at work — dos and don’ts – “music can have a physiological effect on his patients who suffer from adult ADD. According to Quily, listening to music boosts the levels of neurotransmitter dopamine, a brain chemical that can help people focus.” Most people see listening to music as a fun, distracting activity. But for some, like me, listening to music is essential to focusing. Especially when there are people talking around me and I need to zone everything out.

That being said, not everyone is that way and I totally understand that. So this blog post is for those who keep getting distracted and need to focus. I usually have 3 sources for music when I’m working.

1. 8Tracks.

This is my favorite website for listening to music and discovering new music! Just type in an artist you like and find playlists made by other people that include that artist. It can be hit or miss but you start to learn what genres you like and the users who have the best playlists. They don’t have unlimited “skippage” but you can always switch to a new playlist if you’re bored of the one you’re on. You can find great playlists that have party music (for the end of the day) or instrumental (when you are trying to write but need something to drown out background noise.) The downside- you have to keep clicking on the browser window or tab to change the music. I wish you could control it from your keyboard.

2. iTunes

Everyone knows iTunes so I don’t have to really tell you about it. But I do like iTunes DJ or just listening to stuff on Shuffle. I also love that you can change the songs from your keyboard. For someone who loves to change the song every 5 seconds, this is a much better way of doing things. If you have different work listening moods, you can create different playlists to listen to.

3. Pandora

Pandora is classic. Everyone has used/ heard of it. I love it for the iPhone and find myself defaulting to that rather than my playlists if I’m playing music from my phone. It’s a great way to have music to listen to while doing work “on the go”!

Now, keep in mind these general listening to music at work rules from CNN:

• Use headphones if you share an office. If you have enough personal space to use external speakers, make sure the sound doesn’t carry into other people’s workspaces.

• Keep the volume low enough to hear if your phone rings or someone calls your name.

• If you use speakers, remember to pause the music when talking on the phone.

• Don’t sing aloud. In all likelihood, you’re a bigger fan of your voice than your co-workers are.

• Keep the dance moves to a minimum. (that includes bobbing your head!)