Improving Concentration with your iPod

When you need to really concentrate on a task, rocking out on your iPod may be just the thing you need to bust through distractions. At least that’s what the New York Times says.

Many of us work in close quarter cubivilles, where distractions can range from jokes exchanged between co-workers to comments that hint at dire outcomes for your current project. Any of these can send your mind off on a tangent, stealing attention from the important work at hand. Fortunately though, a combination of technology and art may offer a focusing agent.

Robert Desimone, a neuroscientist and director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at M.I.T., points to research showing that listening to a familiar piece of music can be helpful.

It seems likely that a familiar piece of music has the same effect as the repetitive tone – there are no surprises, nothing to grab your attention – and at the same time the music drowns out other less predictable sounds that might otherwise compete with whatever you are trying to attend to.

So the next time Bob starts up with his joke of the week, pop in the earbuds, queue up an old favorite, and get down to business.

— Chad Broadus

Concentration for this blog post was provided by Bend Sinister’s Stories
of Lovers, Tales of Brothers
blaring in the background.