Do you ever turn up the music when you want to concentrate on a work project? How about when you’re doing tasks around the house, like yard work or cleaning? Music might get you pumped up, but can it really help you work more efficiently?
Not exactly, said Dr. Brian Anderson, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Texas A&M University. “Multitasking is a fallacy,” he explained. “Humans are not capable of truly multitasking because attention is a limited resource. Listening to music takes your attention away from what you are working on to some degree, which comes at a cost.”
So, while listening to music might make your time at work more enjoyable, it can hinder your concentration on a project, especially if the music has lyrics and the task involves reading or writing. Although this distraction is less noticeable for routine housework like mowing the lawn or cooking your favorite recipe, the effects are still present, making it harder to adapt to sudden changes, such as an unexpected object in your path or a pot boiling over.