Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Background Noise

Some people work better in complete silence. They have to be alone with their thoughts and their work in order to concentrate. Others do better with some sort of background noise.

For me, it varies on my mood, the work, and the noise. Where I go and what I listen to while I write depends on those factors.

This one is really rare for me. I don't work well in a completely silent environment, it's too easy for my brain to wander off. It's most likely when my brain is really loud and I'm working on something that requires a lot of focus, like reading for class.

That's when I find a nice, quiet spot to work. There can't be a lot of distractions, but there does need to be a little natural noise.

Natural bustle
This is why I like to write in coffee shops or semi-public areas. There's a natural buzz of noise that allows me to focus. Plus if I get stuck, there's more to look around at that might spark an idea. One of my new favorite websites for writing is Coffitivity. It provides all the natural noise of a coffee shop without having to actually travel for one.

If I need a little bit more noise, I turn to music. I usually stick to headphones, just one ear bud in if I can't close everything out, but sometimes I use speakers.

There are a few types of music for me. There's what I call "tune out" music that's easy for me to tune out. For me, this is usually rock music, something that I'll listen to the beat and the melody more than the words. Then there's mood music which I chose specifically for whatever I'm working on, usually a WIP. This varies depending on the project. Finally there's instrumental music, which I listen to when I can't focus enough to stop listening to the words of the songs but I still need the background music. I got in the habit of using this last year when I needed music to study to and it worked pretty well.

What background noise do you need to focus well?