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3 Tips for Music in the Office

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Many people say that listening to music while they work helps them to be more productive.

Whether you're writing a business report, filing paperwork, working on a website, responding to emails, updating social media... or even re-organizing your filing system; music CAN help you to relax, lighten the mood, drown out background noise, and actually be more productive!

However, if you are one of the many people who enjoy listening to music while you work, here are a few things to consider:

1. Consider the type of music.

Depending on your personality, different types of music will probably have different effects on you. Extremely slow and mellow music might actually make you work slower or become sleepy; and music with catchy lyrics might distract you and cause you to focus more on the song than your work.

Songza is a really cool (and completely free) app for smart phones that allows you to stream thousands of original playlists, browse playlists created by others, share playlists via Facebook and Twitter, and even choose your playlist based on the time of day or the task you're working on. They offer a great option for "work or study" which is a playlist of songs that contain no lyrics.

If you don't have smart phone, you can visit Pandora.com from any computer with internet connection and instantly have access to thousands of songs. You can also create your own "station" with a specific type or genre of music depending on what mood you're in. (And if you DO have a smart phone, you can download the Pandora app for free.)

2. Consider your task.

While music can often help to increase productivity, there are some tasks that could be very tricky to complete while listening to music.

If you're trying to proof-read a very detailed document or update complicated HTML code, music with lots of lyrics might actually be a distraction. Similarly, if you're working on a group project, you'll want to make sure the others in your group don't mind music playing.

3. Consider your coworkers.

Unless you have your own office (with a door), you'll definitely need to consider your coworkers before listening to music at work.

Keep the volume relatively low and use ear buds or headphones so you don't disturb or interrupt other workers. And as tempting as it might be, you'll want to refrain from singing along, humming to the music, whistling, or tapping your foot to the beat!

I often love working in peace and quiet -- but there are definitely days when a little background music is all it takes to boost my productivity and help me get more done.

Do you listen to music while you work?

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