Music, iPods, and Productivity

I was mentioned in the USA Today on 3/23 in a story called "Music hath charms for some workers — others it annoys"

My quote was (as is usual) taken a bit out of context.  When I said "I’m all for it," I was referring specifically to people who say they can concentrate while music is playing in their ears (look at your average teenager, listening to music, IMing with friends, watching tv, and doing homework at the same time).  Just because you can concentrate don’t mean others can.  At work, you definitely should follow iPod etiquette and not blast your music through your computer’s speakers or portable iPod speakers.  When you use your earbuds, make sure it’s soft enough that you can still hear people when they talk to you.  Always follow the office culture: in some workplaces, they are seen as unprofessional.

Also be careful as to what you’re listening to.  The article cites a man listening to ZZ Top and other hard rock songs, which aren’t exactly conducive to productivity.  Use the extensive research that’s been done on music and productivity to your advantage and listen to classical, slower beats, or CDs you can purchase from the Center for Psychoacoustical Research (I like "Music for Productivity"). 

I have a video iPod, but I’m one who can’t concentrate while it’s playing.  I load Podcasts and songs and audio programs to listen to and relax while I’m flying.  I’d love to hear your comments on what is appropriate iPod etiquette at work and how you use yours.

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