One of the greatest myths of our time is that silence is golden. But complete silence will keep you from working effectively. It may even put you to sleep.
J. K. Rowling left the solitude of her own home to write the Harry Potter series in a coffee shop amid the cacophony of people chatting over grinding espresso machines. The noisy environment inspired her to get to work. Just enough sound creates an ambient environment conducive to working by drowning out any other unpredictable racket in the background.
Studies show that learning to play an instrument makes it easier for children to learn how to read. Additionally, the “Mozart Effect” is said to improve concentration and study habits. Popular music is used during operations to relax both patient and doctor. Muzak takes the awkward silence out of the elevator.
The right type of noise is critical to working effectively. In fact, many CEOs expect disruptions in the form of email and calls to ensure the business is actively operating. Silence is the antithesis of productivity.
In order to stay motivated and remain productive, we need perpetual sound rather than peace and quiet. Sound is productive. It is the silence that can be deadly.