Do you work from home?
Then you are probably familiar with the silence which at times can feel mind numbing (well, you can’t listen to your productivity playlist (or, let’s be honest, guilty pleasure “gym” playlist) forever).
I’m a bit too familiar with this.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love working from home, having my own space – physical & mental – to make my own mess and create.
While there is plenty of visual stimulus (hello, internet and unchecked browsing of said internet), there is not so much in the form of auditory stimulus. Which is just as important and you start to miss it when it’s not there.
So, over the years, I have relied on lovely third party apps, websites, audio books, youtube videos (audio only), even Instagram Lives of people-I-barely-know to keep them auditory nerves engaged and focussed while I work.
Today I’m going to list my top 6 background noise apps which will help you get your productivity and inspiration back.
Coffitivity is a wonderful and light little app which you can play from your web browser on your laptop and phone. It plays a standard, non-distracting coffee shop background noise, which is supposed to be conducive to productivity.
I had a phase when I went to coffee shops on Fridays to get my blog writing done, because to be honest, breaking the monotony of working from home is always welcome, right?
That didn’t last too long (because, pants), but I actually quite enjoyed the vibe of being in a coffee shop. A little google search led me to Coffitivity! It was perfect for a few days.
Then it got boring, because there are very limited sounds available in the free version.
So, then I got digging, and discovered the wonderful world of Podcasts.
I use the Podcasts app on my phone (an Apple iPhone) to listen to podcasts. If you are on an android phone, I am sure there are apps specifically for this like Stitcher.
I subscribe to a few creativity, business and mindset podcasts to keep my ears ringing with positive messages.
The key is to subscribe to podcasts that don’t require you to pay too much active attention, yet, are entertaining and also educational at the same time. I could do a blog post on the specific podcasts that I listen to – let me know if you’d like to know? Just leave a comment behind.
I have my phases with podcasts. Some times I love listening to them, and sometimes I feel fed up or saturated with too much “information”. This happens especially if I listen to too many business podcasts. While individually all of them are great, and have really valuable content, I don’t do too well by consuming a lot of content. It somehow clamps my creative output, and I need a detox from “info-over-consumption”. Does that sound familiar to you?
3. Audio Books
I love listening to audio books! I don’t have audible where I live, but there are tons of open source books which are on youtube.
Now, this is again similar to listening to a podcast, because most of the time I listen to non-fiction businessy/creativity audiobooks.
So saturation point does hit from time to time.
But, before that point, it’s a great way to soak up valuable information on the fly, while actually working! Total win-win situation.
Noisli is a wonderful little app (again, can be accessed from web browser) which I discovered very recently. Let’s be honest, I discovered it today. And it is already one of my favourites.
Noisli is a lot like Coffitivity, but also has other sounds – like nature.
Though the best part about Noisli is that you can make your own mix of sounds from various different types of sounds like rain, coffee shop, waves, wind, forest sounds and more.
On top of that, you can even mix in how much of each of these kinds of noises you want in your mix.
Right now, I am listening to 50% Coffee Shop 25% wind and 25% waves – and I swear it feels like I’m working out of a beach cafe.
If you work from home, I recommend playing some ambient “real life noises” in the background to see if it boosts your productivity (and mood!). My current favourite (and what I am listening to this very moment at the time of writing this post) is Noisli.
Try it, and let me know. Do you have any background sound apps which you love? Any other tricks for staying focussed, productive and not going mad while working from home?