Being concentrated is one of the most important things while working on a project. You really need to focus on it when you want it to be as good as possible. There are several other posts about this theme in the Category Workflow on Programmers Advice. But in this particular post I will discuss the main advantages and disadvantages of listening to music while working.
Clearly a good point for listening to music while working is the fact that you can’t hear your surroundings. As a result you won’t take a break of your work for the phone that rings or your smart phone that want’s you to check your E-Mails. But make sure the music isn’t too loud. It’s not good for your ears and you should hear the fire alarm if there is any.
Further you should listen to music that helps you to be more concentrated in the particular situation you are in. For example when it is early in the morning and you are really sleepy it could help you to listen to some hard rock or other really noisy genres. The other way round you probably should not listen to hard rock when you are already focused on your work and not sleepy at all. This could result into stress for you although there is no need to be stressed. For sure these were just examples and it depends on your very own taste of music what you need to focus.
Anyway I think I have figured something really important out that might help you. For me it’s very distracting to listen to music I can understand. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what the music is about and that clearly is a lack of concentration. As an advice you should try to listen to instrumentals or to music in languages you can’t speak. For me it’s a good habit to listen to some music like this while working. I am focused on what I am doing and not distracted by other things or the music itself.
On the other hand it could fit best for you to not listen to music at all. The ears are not getting so much input and you probably can work more efficient and focused. You should try out what fits best for you!
But even after you found your perfect habit you can switch between genres from time to time to get some diversity in your working habit. Sometimes it can really help do some changes to develop some new enthusiasm for your project.
Try it out by yourself and tell me what you think about listening to music while working.