According to a study at the University of Phoenix, listening to music with lyrics distracts people while they’re doing some type of work such as reading, studying, or writing. They found that your brain struggles to process the lyrics and focus on your work at the same time.
I believe this can be different for everyone. Some people can be distracted more easily than others. I believe this depends on your maturity/mentality level or age. Those younger or with a lower maturity/mentality level may find it more difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time. Having a mental disorder may play a role in this as well.
It also helps if you want to do you work. If you are not interested in your work and you play music you like. You will more than likely find yourself paying more attention to the music.
Personally, listening to music with lyrics helps me focus. I find slow, classical, or music without lyrics irritates me. Then I won’t be able to focus. I need background sounds or I will get lost in my mind henceforth I won’t be focused. As my mind drifts off I begin thinking thoughts I’d rather not. So to keep myself from going there I will either have a movie playing or music playing. But instead of watching the movie or completely listening to the song, I read or work on something.
I usually drown out the entire song as I read or work. If something exciting or horrid happens in my book or I get confused on a problem, as I am stunned and I stop reading, I will then realize that three or four songs have played.
As of right now -while I’m writing the article- I’m listening to music.
What do you think? Does music distract you or help you focus?