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Why You Should Work in Silence

I read this a while ago in The Atlantic and didn't want to believe it:

"Studies show that for most types of cognitively demanding tasks, anything but quiet hurts performance.”

The whole article is good, but that's the main idea.

I love listening to music while working. I can usually remember what I am working on by the song that was playing at the time. I remember working in the darkroom on a print that won contest back in 1995. How did I know it was 1995? Three new albums were playing on repeat while I was printing: Astro Creep 2000, Balance, and Waiting for the Punchline.

These days I have instrumentals or thunderstorms playing while I'm working. But, after reading this, I tried silence for a while. Then, I went back and forth comparing the quantity and quality of my work.

Turns out, at least for me, the article is accurate: I work better in silence.

But I have more fun with sound.

I suppose the answer is to weigh your priorities at the time (heavily biased towards fun), and never ever work in an open office.

Behavioral Economics and Creativity

Chris Ducker on Time Management