Monday, February 22, 2016

Music Monday: Fifteen Minutes With Mozart

   Have you ever heard of the Mozart Effect? Simply put, some research indicates that listening to Mozart while studying or doing other activities of this sort helps you concentrate better, therefore making you more productive.

   My concentration and motivation levels have been pretty low lately, and I haven't been getting as much work done as I have wanted. So, I decided to give the concept a try. Here are my results from five days of listening to Mozart for fifteen minutes a day while writing.

Day One: 

Time of day: Late afternoon.

At first it was strange to write with headphones on, but it was the only way I could block out the distractions around me. I think I felt calmer while writing to Mozart, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure of that. I wrote seven hundred words.

Day Two: 

Time of day: 4:00 pm

I really did not want to start writing today. In fact, I’ve been avoiding it all day, but I knew that if I didn’t get around to it soon, I wouldn’t be doing my fifteen minutes with Mozart today. I wrote 500 words, which I feel will give me a good start to get a bunch of other work done this evening. I’m not sure, but I still feel like listening to Mozart decreases my distraction levels, and makes me calmer.

Day Three:

Time of day: 3:00 pm

I used my fifteen minutes to jump start my writing day. I really am liking writing to Mozart. The music does seem to help me focus, and even though I’m aware that could just be a mental trick, I’ll take it. I’ve also noticed that while I’m writing to Mozart, I feel like I can work continuously instead of in fits and starts. I got 500 words done.

Day Four:

Failed. Wah-wah.

I had every intention of doing my fifteen minutes with Mozart, but the day got away from me with all of those things that life seems to be good at throwing in your path. By the time I did start writing, it was pretty late (read: almost 11 pm) and I was honestly too lazy to do it.

Day Five:

Time of Day: 2:15 pm

Today everyone in my family seemed bent on interrupting my fifteen minutes. Apparently the second headphones go on my ears, it is an invitation to chat with me or complain that one of your siblings is going to tell his friend that you are a “giant poop butt.” So, you know, there’s that. Still, despite all of that, I did manage to get five hundred words written, and that makes me feel good. I think listening to Mozart helps keep me on track, and I do believe that it helps contribute to a sense of calm.

Conclusion: I'm not sure if there really is a "Mozart Effect" as I mentioned before, as I think a large part of this project was simply changing my mind set. However, that was enough for me to call the whole experiment a success. I will definitely be using this technique again when I need to hit the reset button.

What about you, readers, do you think you'd try something like this to increase your focus and productivity?

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