One of my favorite things to look for when I’m editing my life are little tweaks and tricks to improve my productivity.
Getting more done in less time. That’s what we’re all looking for, right?
I’ve noticed something related to my environment that you might have noticed too. I can’t seem to concentrate when it’s completely silent, but having too much noise also kills my productivity.
There’s a sweet spot in terms of noise; just enough to create a sense of urgency, but not too much to be annoying.
Now that I work from home and not in a corporate office, I don’t have that general hum of activity in the background.
My solution? Listening to ambient noise while I work. Besides wearing shoes inside, this simple change has helped me stay focused and get more done than anything else I’ve tried.
Here are my top websites for ambient noise so you can up your productivity game too.
Have you heard of the term “coffice”? It’s when busy professionals and solo entrepreneurs park themselves at the local coffee shop to work.
These folks are clued in to the benefits of ambient noise. Coffee shops tend to play soft, mellow background music and even the machines and steamers create a gentle hum.
But what if you cant haul ass to the local Starbucks? Enter Coffitivity. This brilliant website mimics the bustling vibe of a coffee shop perfectly. Choose slightly different atmospheres including Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge, and University Undertones.
Now all I need is a soy latte. Mmm!
Sometimes you just need to drown out whatever else is going on so you can finally do your work. Soundrown does just that as it helps you “relax, focus, and escape.”
You can get coffee shop sounds here too, but also some fun niche sounds for the noise connoisseurs. My favorites are cracking fire and nighttime crickets.
Soundrown is great for apartment dwellers or urbanites who could use some peaceful nature sounds as oppose to the usual honking cars.
If you’re looking for serene images as well as soothing sounds, check out Calm. Scroll through an impressive selection of repetitive videos of clouds, mountains, lakes, wheat fields, forests, and more. Choose just the images or add nature sounds or new-agey music.
Like the name suggests, you’ll be calmer and more relaxed after just a few minutes on Calm. Try it when you start to feel like you’re burning out or when your to-do list is longer than your arm. By the way, “calm” just happens to be my favorite mantra.
You can also try their timed or guided meditations. I like to start my day with the guided 2-minute meditation to relax my entire body. Calm is perfect for those of us who spend most of our time sitting at a desk.
There are a ton of free music sites out there, but in my opinion, Songza is by far the best.
It greets you with a “music concierge” that asks you to make a series of choices to determine your mood, and then it suggests playlists to match your mood (for energy, to relax, to concentrate, etc.). And there are no audio ads during your music (yes!).
But why am I recommending a music site when I’m talking about ambient noise?
It’s because you can also search Songza for playlists with no lyrics. Here you’ll find nature sounds, white noise, plus classical music and film scores.
I’ve mentioned before that you shouldn’t listen to music with lyrics while doing tasks that require reading because your brain will get confused with the competing words.
This one’s a classic. As their tagline says, “Rain makes everything better.” If you’re the type who loves listening to the rain on the roof or hearing the far-off rumbling of a thunderstorm, then Rainy Mood should be your go-to source for ambient noise.
The gentle downfall is hypnotic, and I can almost instantly feel the tension drain out of me as soon as I turn it on. I even use Rainy Mood when I give myself permission to be sad. It’s like washing away whatever’s bothering you.
Do you listen to ambient noise while you work?
In the comments below, share your favorite sounds or music that you use to get through your work day.
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.