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6 Background Noise Generators that Can Fire up Your Creative Powers

6 Background Noise Generators that Can Fire up Your Creative Powers

Either you require total silence from your workplace or you like an office that supplies ambient noises. Digging deeper into the subject, research data show that most (if not all) people become more productive when exposed to some ambient background noises. I’m a perfect example, although, I’m a combination of the two. When I’m reading emails and searching for photos for my blog posts, I love listening to music and ambient noises, but when writing serious articles, I tend to block (no, I need to delete) all noises as much as possible. Anyway, I surmise, most creatives love ambient noises. Sometimes blended with music, at times plain ambient. And other times just music. Well, to me, I have moods, so… I have various choices every now and then. So much about me, let’s turn to you. If you’ve always told friends, “this place has deafening silence” then most probably, you belong to the ambient-noise-needing category; workers who produce more when exposed to soft noises.

An office environment naturally exposes workers to background noises. At times, to the point where it turns disruptive. Most people would have no choice but to leave even temporarily. What about people who work from home, like me? Most use their radios as background while working, or they turn the TV on. After sometime, though, they’d realize they’re actually being distracted. Now, the key idea is–find indistinct, and subtle sounds as useful workplace background. Fortunately, there are several tools ready to supply all the soft noises your system requires.

Simply Noise

Simply noise

    This service does not use nondescript background chatter like another site, it’s a color noise generator. I’m sure you’ve heard of white noise (i.e. a turned on vacuum). This website provides three types of color noises. White (the most effective for distraction blocking; great for maintaining focus, writing, reading, and studying), Pink (perfect for relaxing the mind and body due to its stress-melting capabilities), and Brown (good aid for inducing sleep, soothing migraines, and pacifying children). Provided on Simply Noise is a sliding volume control, a sleep timer, and oscillation button (this one is my fave–you can set it, so, the volume will automatically rise and fall). As you can tell by now, Simply Noise is simple to use. Just select your color, set the volume you are comfy with, and you’re set to reap the benefits. 

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    Coffitivity

    Coffitivity

      This wonderfully designed site provides three backgrounds: Morning Murmur (a gentle hum, which is my fave; especially when I’m starting my day, sipping my cappuccino and going through my to-do list), Lunchtime Lounge (bustling chatter), and University Undertones (campus cafe). A pause button is provided whenever you need a bladder break (rest room trip, if you prefer that), and a sliding volume control to give you the freedom to find the perfect level for your needs and moods.

      Also available as an Android appiOS app, and Mac desktop if you’d choose to have one less open tab on your browser. 

      Simply Rain

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      Simply Rain

        From the same founders of Simply Noise, this website offers the pleasant sound of rain.

        The dashboard features a slide volume control, sliding intensity control (gentle shower to heavy storm), thunder mode (often, few, rare), oscillation button, and a sleep timer. Nothing too fancy…just pleasurable background noise for those who find the sound of rainfall to be soothing and comforting.

        Also available: iOS app (99 cents). 

        Rainy Cafe

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        Rainy Cafe

          This service combine two features (a perfect blend, actually). Rainy Cafe provides background chatter in coffee shops (similar to Coffitivity) AND the sound of rain (similar to Simply Rain). It provides individual volume and on/off control for each sound category. You can listen to only the background noise, or you can only enjoy the rain noises, or you can opt to listen to both as a nice combo. A minimalist site, if you’ll ask my opinion, yet it rocks.

          No apps available at the moment. 

          Rainy Mood

          rainy mood_10

            As the name reveals, this site focuses on the sound of gentle rain. But it enhances the service by providing a full screen background video, what else, rain on a window pane (that includes an on/off button), and it gives you the prerogative to add the “song of the day” to the the rain audio as well. It allows you to pick from three volume settings. Just click on the speaker icon that is situated at the bottom of the screen to make adjustments.

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            Also available: iOS app ($3.99) and Android app ($3.99). 

            Jazz and Rain

            jazz and rain

              Last, but not the least, Jazz and Rain is pretty straightforward in terms of what it does. The name says it all. Its dashboard includes a sliding rain volume control and pause button, and a jazz volume control, skip and repeat buttons. An additional nice feature is the music title online appears on screen, so if you hear something you love, you’ll know the artist and the title.

              Currently no apps available.

              Each one of us has work preferences, and some need some peace and quiet to get things done. However, if you belong to the other group, especially when you’re a creative, these six audio services provide a fabulous mix of chatter, rain, color noise, and instrumental music. All of which works pretty well at obliterating the deafening silence that’s hindering you from productive work.

              Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: @superamit via Compfight cc via Compfight.com

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              Anthony Dejolde

              TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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              Last Updated on March 21, 2019

              11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

              11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

              Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

              You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

              But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

              To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

              It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

              “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

              The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

              In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

              Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

              1. Start Small

              The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

              Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

              Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

              Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

              Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

              Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

              It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

              Do less today to do more in a year.

              2. Stay Small

              There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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              But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

              If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

              When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

              I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

              Why?

              Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

              The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

              Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

              3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

              No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

              There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

              What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

              Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

              This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

              This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

              4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

              When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

              There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

              Peter Drucker said,

              “What you track is what you do.”

              So track it to do it — it really helps.

              But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

              5. Measure Once, Do Twice

              Peter Drucker also said,

              “What you measure is what you improve.”

              So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

              For reading, it’s 20 pages.
              For writing, it’s 500 words.
              For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
              For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

              Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

              6. All Days Make a Difference

              Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

              Will two? They won’t.

              Will three? They won’t.

              Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

              What happened? Which one made you fit?

              The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

              No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

              7. They Are Never Fully Automated

              Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

              But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

              What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

              It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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              The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

              It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

              It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

              8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

              Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

              Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

              When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

              The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

              Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

              9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

              The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

              Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

              You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

              But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

              So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

              If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

              This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

              The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

              Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

              10. Punish Yourself

              Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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              I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

              It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

              You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

              No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

              The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

              But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

              11. Reward Yourself

              When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

              Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

              The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

              After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

              If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

              Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

              If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

              In the End, It Matters

              What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

              When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

              And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

              “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

              Keep going.

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              More Resources to Help You Build Habits

              Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
              [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
              [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
              [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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