So here’s a quick discussion point – what do you listen to while you’re coding/working? Stemming from a chat I had recently regarding whether actively listening to things while you’re busy can be a distraction or not I thought I’d just chime in here.

I like to listen to music while I work; I really don’t like sitting in silence and writing or coding as I do generally tend to find it’s easy for my mind to wander, however I do have very specific requirements. I can’t, for example, listen to songs while I’m doing anything which requires serious thought or reading up on things. I find it hard to not focus on lyrics and that tends to get in the way of productivity, so if I’m in R&D or problem solving mode I tend to go over to my library of soundtracks and ambient music to fill the silence. If I’m in crunch, however, bring on the fast rock tracks! Hammering out code to Iron Maiden is absolutely my bag!

Then we have the question of headphones. If I’m alone, either working from home or in my own office, speakers are great, but for the last few years I’ve been working in an open office – headphones are essential to block out those unneeded external distractions and help to focus on the job at hand. However, I do appreciate that some people have a low opinion of headphones and whether they can be considered antisocial. Personally? In the work that I do it’s easy to lose focus and track of where you are if you’re not completely in the zone at times and that can be massively detrimental for delivering projects on time. If you need to block yourself off from those distractions, you do you.

So what are your thoughts on music while working? Does it help block out distractions or is it a distraction in itself? Chime in below!