Consider using music or white noise
Music activates both the left and right brain hemispheres at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory. The right kind of music provides non-invasive noise and pleasurable feelings, thus effectively neutralizing our constant unconscious attention to distracting environmental cues. The use of music is subjective; some people prefer to work in silence. Ultimately, go for whatever works best for you.
If you choose to work with music, then the type of music you choose is important. Given the extreme variation in musical preferences from person to person and the effect music has on mood, the right kind of focus-enhancing music is a matter of personal choice.
The most common types of sounds found to be helpful in research provide a smooth, pleasant, low key, predictable background. They include
- white noise, like the drone of airplane engines. White noise is monotonous, repetitive and devoid of any emotional links. It is ideal for muffling background noises.
- soft classical music
- ambient music without lyrics
Some people swear by video game soundtracks, perhaps not surprising considering that the purpose of the video game music is to help create an immersive environment and to facilitate (but not distract) from a task that requires constant attention and focus.The types of music that are most likely to draw your attention and are therefore best avoided include;
- chaotic and unpredictable music, like free jazzmusic with lyrics (human speech and vocalization is something our brains pay particular attention to)
- any music that is emotionally significant to you (likely to carry you away into past memories and favorite moments)high volume.
Try Spotify and YouTube for a large choice of suitable music (search under ‘focus’, ‘concentration’, ‘study’, ‘relaxation’ and ‘white noise’). Or Brain.fm, which generates audio patterns scientifically proven to enhance focus and concentration.