How to be more productive with headphones on

If you work in a busy office, you're no stranger to headphones. Without them, there would probably be days you got nothing done.

Just donning headphones isn't enough to drown out noise and distractions, however. To be truly productive, you've also got to think carefully about what you listen to when you're wearing them, according to contributor Paula Wallace.

"Research has shown what most of us already know: Listening to music encourages efficiency and creativity," Wallace says. "Deep thinking -- reading, writing, analyzing long documents -- is best aided by more narrative compositions, sonatas, film scores, just about any track from Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, or your preferred white noise via YouTube (one of my colleagues prefers a 10-hour video of an idling polar icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean)."

Or, maybe you could use something a little livelier.

"If your work requires quick bursts of energy -- say, if you're emailing a dozen clients every half hour -- then find music that suits that activity," Wallace continues. "Perhaps Chance the Rapper?"

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