Many people are heavily music dependent and for all the right reasons. Music fills the void of silence when doing the most mundane tasks, like homework, working out, or going to a party you really had no intention of going to. The first “English” song I ever heard was Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold” from a friend in the 6th grade. One song turned into an ipod, stored to the brim, with music that I listened to nonstop that summer, during my trip to India. This would continue on through the 7th grade and so on. Over the years, my musical tastes changed from Katy Perry-like sounds to a wide range of genres.
Music has always found a way to make me feel more excited about doing whatever it was I had to do. It made my life more colorful. There are certain songs, in which, I have a period of my life stored. This is something no picture or book has ever been able to do. I have been the type of person that always needed a song playing in the background, anything, just to avoid having to be without a tune. But there was a problem…
Although music was something I used to escape, it was very distracting to me when I listened to music while doing homework, working on projects or doing anything that needed my full attention. For many years I shrugged it off and told myself that I was one of those people that “concentrate better with music,” but during my freshman year of college and seriously struggling with my grades I decided that I needed to stop lying to myself. In 2016, New Year’s night, I decided to give myself a whole year to work on being able to concentrate without musical “help.” Although it may sound silly, it was so hard for me to even find the motivation to do homework or study without music… so I didn’t. After years of having something distract me in the background, suddenly changing and forcing myself to use all my concentration on one task was not settling well at all in the beginning. I found myself studying for a few minutes and then taking an hour long break, or constantly fidgeting with something to keep the other half of me distracted like music did.
After a month of watching my grades deteriorate, I decided to cut off listening to anything for good unless it was playing at a store or somewhere I had no control over it playing. It took me nearly half a year to get used to focusing or finding motivation to do anything that was related to me using my brain, without tunes, but then things started to pick up rapidly. I began to memorize more, concentrate more, and finish whatever task I had to do in nearly half or a fraction of the time. After a year of working on my goal, I was able to successfully separate my academic life from music, and still let myself enjoy music when I was not studying. This resolution has been my only real, “stereotypical,” one-year-long resolution. I gave myself a set amount of time to work on something that really needed improvement, and it worked really well.
Listen to The Myth of Multitasking on NPR
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About the Author:
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter
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