Are you one of those people who say they always work best listening to music? It can be. But before you put on your headphones and press play, read this.
If you want to learn something new or read a complicated text, it's actually best to do it in complete silence. The brain simply isn't smart enough to multitask, and can't decipher a number of different signals at the same time. So even if it's your grooviest favourite song, switch it off!
On the other hand, if you're working on something you're familiar with and have done previously, research shows that you tend to work faster and more energetically with music. Another instance where music is beneficial is when the workplace is noisy. It's hard not to listen to phone conversations and loud colleagues, however hard you try. The brain continues to take in information, with the result that you become unfocused and stressed. In that case, it's definitely a good idea to put your headphones on.