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Rabin Poudyal

Does listening to music while studying help?

Listening to music is a way to relief your stress but sometimes it can be counterproductive as well.

TLDR; It Depends

When I was a teenager, I used to be a die-heart fan of 80's rock and roll music. I had maintained a handwritten lyrics book of all popular rock songs back then. From AC/DC to Eagles, Bon Jovie to Led Zeppelin, and Metallica to Guns N Roses, I used to have my phone loaded with hundreds of rock ballads.

I was quite obsessed with rock and roll. It used to be a source of dopamine to me. I used to get motivated and energized by those songs.

Now the time has changed, there has been a shift of paradigm. But the love for music is still the same. Starting my day with a simple workout with beast mode workout music is my hack to keep myself motivated to do more exercise. Even during the day while programming, I mostly wear headphones to keep myself focused and to stay away from disturbances.

But a few months back I stumbled upon an article online explaining why listening to music while coding is not a great idea. The logic is that when you are coding you are using your energy on different things - staring at the screen, solving a problem, and listening to music.

You are losing energy through the eyes, ears, and, brain. You cannot close your eyes and neither you can turn off your problem-solving background job. One thing you can do is stop listening to music. I advise using noise-canceling headphones if you want to get rid of background noise. Avoiding music while coding will help you put more energy into solving a programming problem and will make you more productive. If you do not agree with me yet, think about why people meditate with their eyes closed? They save energy doing so; which helps them to use that energy in the brain.

Trying to solve every algorithmic problem in O(logn) is not only the trait of a good programmer, trying to optimize your everyday algorithm crucial too.