With more people turning to work from home jobs to make ends meet, the complication arises of excessive noise. How can you concentrate when the TV is blaring, the kids are screaming, the phone is ringing, and you’ve got 101 things to do? If only there were a way to cancel out all the noise and just focus on your job, things would be much easier.
If you’re having a noise issue and cannot concentrate, it’s not a problem that only you’re facing in today’s society. Even in an office space, you might have a challenging time focusing when the background noise seems to be deafening. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help.
Ten Proven Ways to Concentrate Among Noise
Noise is everywhere, and you must inevitably learn to focus through the chaos at times. How can you complete what you need to do even when there’s so much going on in the background? Here are ten easy ways to help you stay focused no matter what’s going on around you.
1. Ear Plugs
If you’ve ever worked in a warehouse, then you will know all about earplugs. Whether you work from home or have a job environment that is too chaotic to focus on, then these are valid options. Earplugs can fit effortlessly into the ear canal, and they can hardly be detected.
The good news is that these earplugs are comfortable to wear, and they are very cost-effective. The only downside to using them is that they block the noise too well. You might hear your heartbeat or other sounds within your body that can be eerie at first, but you will get used to using them.
2. Use Noise Cancellation Headphones
Perhaps the thought of having a small plastic device crammed down into your ear canal isn’t appealing. If this is the case, then you should use noise cancellation headphones. You can feel like you’re in another world when you use these devices.
Noise cancellation headphones come in all price points, and you can find ones that are more advanced than others. However, you don’t need to break the bank to get some peace and quiet. All you need to do is find a pair that fits comfortably with your head and ears.
3. Run a Fan
White noise is an excellent way to block out the excessive racket. The soothing hum of white noise is used to put babies to sleep and help those who suffer from anxiety that keeps them awake. According to the Sleep Foundation white noise can be considered anything from a fan to an air conditioner unit.
While you don’t want to sleep when you need to concentrate, you need something that drowns all the commotion around you. Running a small fan can give you fresh air that is relaxing and blocks out all the noise.
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably learned to tune out some of the noise you hear every day. If you didn’t have this gift, then life would be hard. It seems that both mothers and fathers have a unique ability to hear important things and ignore the rest.
When it comes to your concentration levels, you may find that meditation helps. Turn on a guided session and focus on your breathing. Doing just a short 10-minute meditation can help put you in a better headspace so that you can accomplish your goals. Meditation is great for those who deal with sound sensitivity issues.
5. Play Some Tunes
Music has always been a powerful motivator. If you find yourself unable to focus, then try playing some relaxing tunes. Now, keep in mind that head-banging music will probably not enhance your concentration, but you can try some light jazz or some other easy listening music to help find peace in your space.
Additionally, some people find that they work better while singing along to their favorite songs. If this is the case, then find some tunes to belt along with. Singing helps to move oxygen in and out of your lungs better, and it can help to clear your head and lift your mood.
6. Ask for Consideration
If you absolutely cannot focus and need things to quiet down, you have every right to ask people to lower the volume tactfully. When you’re trying to work on a paper at the office, and the next cubicle is having a party, it’s okay to ask them to be considerate of your needs.
When you find yourself at home trying to work, and the kids are loud, then ask them to choose a quiet activity while you’re working. Set quiet periods where they must read a book or play their electronics with earphones in their ears. It’s not too much to ask a work-at-home parent for some peace and quiet to get things done.
If you teach your children the importance of giving them some time to work, then it will soon become a regular part of your routine.
7. Avoid Stimulants
One of the most significant issues with people who work long hours is that they get tired. To combat this exhaustion, you might be tempted to drink an energy drink or other caffeinated beverage. While caffeine can give you more energy, it can also make you irritable.
Try avoiding any drinks that are stimulating that can trigger anxiety. You may feel anxious at all the noise around you, and it can inhibit your concentration level.
8. Move Locations
Your location could be the reason why you cannot concentrate. If the construction crew is building outside your office window, heavy machinery can be noisy. When you face a situation like this, it’s okay to ask your boss to move temporarily.
While you may feel like it’s a pain to ask for accommodations, your boss will be more eager to oblige if it affects their bottom line. Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a dedicated space. Working in the middle of the living room with kids all around probably isn’t going to work out well.
When you make your livelihood from home, it’s okay to carve out a spot that’s just for you so that you can focus. Moving your location can help in these situations.
9. Block Noise
You’re not the first person to have an issue with excessive noise. If you find that this is inhibiting you from getting things done, you should head to a local hardware store. There are many products available that can help you seal off excessive clatter.
Even spaces between your windows and doors can allow sound to seep through, but you can block it with some sound-stopping devices. Did you know that something as small as a pillow can help create a barrier to noise? College students will often make a wall of pillows against the area where the noise is coming from.
10. Take Frequent Breaks
Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do to change the environment around you. Whether you’re trying to clean the house or working on a project for your corporate office doesn’t matter. It would help if you learned to concentrate on where you are and what you must work with.
One way that you can accomplish this task is to take frequent breaks. Maybe you can do well for about 30 minutes before the noise starts to get to you. If you can only focus for small spurts, then take rest periods to keep you from going crazy.
The breaks don’t have to be lengthy either. Sometimes, just getting up and taking a quick ten-minute walk outside can be beneficial. Getting out in the fresh air is always advisable as Mother Nature is healing.
However, even if you can’t get outside, you should still get up, remove yourself from the noisy environment, and re-center yourself.
Final Thoughts on Concentrating in a Noisy Place
When the noise at your job, school, or home hinders your ability to concentrate, then you need to fix the situation as best you can. Did you know that ambient noise can increase your stress levels, leading to things like headaches, ulcers, and even high blood pressure? If the place where you must be is too noisy, then it can cause your body to go into a state of stress and release the hormone cortisol.
Not only will noisy places disrupt your ability to focus, but they can increase your hormone levels and cause both physical and mental distress. A study cited on the National Library of Medicine shows that being in a noisy environment can raise your stress levels. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can fight noisy situations. The best method is to learn how to concentrate among all the chaos.
While it sounds like an unfeasible task to learn to tune out the noise, it’s possible. Additionally, many people use headphones or earplugs to get rid of the commotion around them, and they seem to work wonders. You can find what works for you to keep your stress and irritation to a minimum while accomplishing what you need to do.
When all else fails, simply move locations, or ask your boss to change offices. A certain amount of noise is acceptable, but you’re only human, so you’re limited.