Do You Listen to Music While You Work?

I’m fascinated by the wide variety of work styles we all have. Some like clean desks, orderly files, and empty in- baskets. Others of us (and I put myself in this next category) have a more free- form organizational style that involves lots of piles, post it notes, and scattered papers.

Of course, we also all have different ideas about music while we work.  Many require absolute silence so that they can concentrate on their tasks at hand. But, there is a substantial group that needs to be entertained to keep focused and content at work.

 As a writer, I certainly understand the need for quiet. Little distractions like birds chirping outside or a car driving by can drive me crazy if I’m working on something challenging. But, as a music lover, I want to listen to my tunes all day long. So, I go back and forth between silence and music.

And then, music selection can also play a part in work productivity. I once shared a cubicle with a coworker who loved country music. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, and it truly made it a rather unpleasant place to work. I endured nearly two year of it, but, to this day, I still utterly dislike country music – other than, of course, Johnny Cash who I love dearly.

Certain genres can spawn different types of creativity. When listening to Elvis Costello’s or Simon and Garfunkel’s creative, poetry-like lyrics, I’m inspired to write lots of adjectives and swirling commentary that’s makes for good ad copy. 1970s disco keeps me lively enough to get through dry technical writing. And, the new wave hits from my high school days are catchy enough for me to create some great brand names and slogans.

So, while I don’t whistle while I work, I do enjoy listening to my favorites while I write.  And, there are lots of songs that inspire me. Stay tuned to my blog, and you’ll be sure to hear some of them every now and again.

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