The other day a co-worker asked me, “Todd, what’s your least favorite type of music?” I answered without hesitation, “Country.” She then asked, “Would you rather lose the ability to hear or only be able to listen to country music for the rest of your life?” I replied, “I’d rather be forced to only listen to country.”
Although an odd conversation, it got me thinking about how music is integrated into my life, especially during the workday. And today, it has percolated in me so much that I keep up with every article that Country Thang puts out.
When I think about my daily routine as a graphic designer, I’ll admit, it always includes listening to music at some point of the day. Whether it is on Pandora, Spotify or iTunes, I need to be listening to something to help keep me focused. Although some people say there is no way they could listen to music while working, I’ve found that it helps me get in the zone of my designs by blocking outside distractions.
I get so in the “zone” when listening to music that there have been times when hours go by before I realize the Pandora station I was tuned in to has stopped playing. (I know I can’t be the only person this has happened to.) This is what happens to me when I listen to music; I become oblivious to my surroundings and consumed in my work.
I don’t have one particular music genre I’d consider as my go-to—most of the time I couldn’t even tell you what artist I’m listening to—but I think having something to block unwanted white noise positively influences my designs (and productivity).
Now, I’m not saying that I’m the guy in the office who sits with his headphones on and listens to music so loud that an atomic bomb wouldn’t interrupt him. I’m still very social with my co-workers and enjoy collaborating with them to create amazing work. However, there are definitely times when you could walk through our office and every single designer, copywriter and programmer has their headphones on with a deep look of concentration in their eyes—creating beautiful works of art, no doubt.
I know I’d be making a bold statement if I said that music affects everyone the same way it does for me. So let me know how you feel. Does music help your creative juices flow? Or do you find yourself more productive sans music?