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5 Wonderful Background Noise Resources That Will Boost Your Productivity

5 Wonderful Background Noise Resources That Will Boost Your Productivity

Have you ever wondered why authors are often depicted writing in busy coffee shops instead of in the quiet of their own home? Or why artists like to paint outdoors where the breeze and the sound of mother nature seemingly infiltrates their creative zone? Well, according to a paper published by the Journal of Consumer Research, the ideal work environment entails a little bit of background noise.

In the study, a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign lead by Ravi Mehta separated their volunteers into four groups and asked each to complete a Remote Associates Test, which often used to test creative thinking. Each group was asked to work in differing levels of volume: 50 decibels, 70 decibels, 85 decibels and complete silence. Researchers found that the participants that had been working in an environment with 70 decibels of background noise performed significantly better than their counterparts. The author of the study states that: “getting into a relatively noisy environment may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”

To ensure you get the most out of your time spent working, here are five background noise resources you can use to boost your creativity and productivity!

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1. Coffitivity

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    Inspired by the idea that background noise can boost productivity, Justin Kaulzer created Coffitivity – an online site that is also available as app. If you find the ambience of a coffee shop or the bustle of a college library a comforting, familiar, productivity booster then turn on some of Coffitivity’s looping soundtracks.

    2. Raining FM

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      If you want to keep your background noise as simple as possible then why not listen to the most calming noise available: rain. Whether you prefer the beats of light drizzle against a window pane, or a full thunder storm gets your creative juices flowing, you can choose your perfect, rainy weather with Raining.fm.

      3. 99U Music

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        Catalogued using different themes, these playlists provide new music for those of you who are tired of your Spotify or iTunes playlists. Simply pick a genre that’s bound to get you going and get your work done in no time.

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        4. Ambient-Mixer

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          If you’re favourite background noise is traditional white noise, then you may want to try Ambient Mixer out. Not only can you listen to various loops of white noise, you can also combine them with other tracks, adjust volumes and even share your productivity boosting mixes with others.

          5. Noisli

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            Speaking of mixing your own sounds, our last background noise provider Noisli allows you to mix the sounds of the outdoors, coffee shops, the sea, storms and many more noisy locations to help you focus on your work!

            Featured photo credit: gratisography via gratisography.com

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            Last Updated on September 17, 2018

            How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

            How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

            Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

            Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

            All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

            Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

            How bad really is multitasking?

            It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

            Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

            This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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            We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

            So what to do about it?

            Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

            Now, forget about how to multitask!

            Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

            1. Get enough rest

            When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

            This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

            When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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            2. Plan your day

            When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

            When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

            Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

            3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

            I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

            I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

            Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

            4. When at your desk, do work

            We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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            Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

            5. Learn to say no

            Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

            Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

            By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

            6. Turn off notifications on your computer

            For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

            Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

            7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

            Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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            You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

            The bottom line

            Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

            Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

            Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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