I struggle to work in silence. My mind gets crowded with ideas. But I also struggle to work with music. My mind begins to follow the lyrics.
Ambient noise is a way to drown out your thoughts without distracting your focus. Here are three tools I recommend:
SimplyNoise is a site that plays white, pink, and brown noise. There are many sites and many apps that do this, but in my opinion, SimplyNoise has the “cleanest” noise. I find other digital noise generators to be harsh or grating. Other generators also tend to loop in distracting ways.
If you don’t like using an iPhone app or a web browser to play the noise, you can pay a dollar to download a 60-minute MP3.
- Creates an intense sense of focus.
- Difficult to use alongside music. The noise is quickly overwhelmed by the lyrics.
- Eventually drives you insane, like being locked in a hyperbaric chamber.
Get Work Done Music
- You might actually discover artists that you like.
- Depends on accurate SoundCloud tagging. Sometimes you get crazy demon-screaming garbage.
Coffitivity is a site that plays coffee shop noises on a loop. This feels like a dumb idea. But when combined with music, it provides a pleasing mix of noise that is just enough to balance out your music’s lyrics while still drowning out stray thoughts.
If you don’t like using a web browser to play sound, you can just download the MP3.
- You can play your own music.
- You don’t feel like a total psychopath.
None: This is what I use most of the time.