FREELANCE KNOWLEDGE LIFESTYLE

How Distraction Can Make You More Productive3 min read

October 12, 2016
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How Distraction Can Make You More Productive3 min read

We’ve all had those moments when you’re mowing the lawn and you finally come up with the solution to a problem you’ve been facing, or when you’re in the shower and the name of the song you’ve been humming for the past day and a half finally hits you. It seems strange that these AHA moments always come random times – but there is more to it than meets the eye.

The moderate level of background noise that comes from the mower (assuming you’re wearing ear plugs) or the sound from the water running in the shower that actually helps spur these moments of genius. Research has found that a moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition. This basically means that having a little bit of background noise distracting your brain helps you be more creative. With that in mind, here are a fews ways you can use noise to help you be more productive.

Find the Perfect Work Environment

This is why the coffee shop is the perfect place for freelancers to set up shop (aside from having a cheap place to work and copious amounts of caffeine in stock). The chatter and clatter of a coffee shop is the perfect distraction to get your creative juices flowing. If the coffee shop just isn’t doing the trick for you, try checking out one of your local parks. Getting outside is a great way to increase your productivity, especially while we still have this beautiful fall weather to enjoy!

Choose Your Music Wisely

It’s always nice to throw on a new playlist when you’re grinding through the work day – which is perfectly fine when you’re working on something that doesn’t require too much brain power. However, when you’re working on something that’s a little more demanding, like writing a writing a long post or building an app for a client, try queuing up a list of tracks you already know. It’s a lot easier to focus on your work when you’re listening to music that you’re already familiar with. Even better, try ambient songs without lyrics to avoid distraction. Genres like jazz or classical and alternative bands like Explosions in the Sky are great for adding flavor while staying focused.

freelancedistractions

Bring the Noise to You

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the office when you’re craving the creative atmosphere of a coffee shop. If you find yourself in this brain blocking situation, grab a cup of coffee, put on your headphones and open the Coffitivity app to bring the café experience to you. This app plays the background noise from actual coffee shops, so you can get all of the productive benefits of your favorite java spot wherever you’re working from. With access from the web or mobile app, Coffitivity is a great way to add helpful white noise instead of your music OR on top of it. There are also some really cool apps, like Binaural Beats, that play different sound frequencies that can be used to help you stay alert, stay focused, or even help you relax. One of the really cools things about Binaural Beats is that you can play it along with your music, audiobook, or even Coffitivity if you’re really trying to maximize your productivity.

It’s always important to think about the amount of background noise there is in your different work environments. For those who work from multiple spaces, make sure you save your creative work for when you’re at the coffee shop or somewhere with a little bit of noise. If you’re bound to a particular workplace, try playing with different types of music and ambient noise apps to help create the perfect creative environment.

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Nick Green is the Head of Content and Business Development at Painless1099, an automated tax withholding platform for freelancers.
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