EarPods: Focus and Productivity part 2

I was going to write something totally different today, but, in this week’s lecture (CS-467 week 7) I saw a TED talk by presentation expert David JP Phillips that motivated me to return to an old post. In the first part of this post I talked about how wearing EarPods(or just listening to something) has helped me get trough this program. However, when I wrote the first post I didn’t know why listening to something helped me focus and be more productive; all I really knew was that it did help me. After listening to David’s presentation, I think I have a better idea.

David mentions in his TED talk that there are ways to connect with the audience and make them feel a certain way based on what you say and how you say it. Trough storytelling we can increase the audiences dopamine levels and similarly, trough empathy we can increase the audiences oxytocin. David also talks about endorphins and he had good examples for all 3 but, I would like to focus on dopamine. David mentions that increasing dopamine could enable focus, motivation and memory and a good way to induce dopamine levels is trough storytelling; I agree.

I’m going to take David’s argument and extend it to my own experiences. That is, I believe that listening to white noise and music has increased my dopamine levels and in turn has helped me focus, motivate me and improve my memory. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that this is true, so let’s go back and revisit what I actually listen to while working on programming assignment.

I listen to white noise; that is, rain sounds, wind and fans. I found an article by Lisa M.P. Munoz where she found that listening to white noise triggered dopamine and in turn improved the memory in participants source. Another thing I listen to is music, in particular video game music from my childhood that triggers a nostalgic effect. For this, I found 2 article: (1) from healthline.com argues that listening to music stimulates dopamine in your brain source and (2) from why.org argues that nostalgic feelings (in my case, listening to childhood video game music) can trigger the release of dopamine source.

So yes, listening to white noise or music can definitely cut out some environmental distractions and in turn help you focus. However, I think its much deeper then that and I believe that listening to white noise and music can also trigger the release of dopamine in your brain, which in turn will help you focus, motivate you and improve your memory, all of which are important while getting trough a rigorous program such as Computer Science.

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