Do you ever find yourself unable to concentrate on a book you are reading? You’ve been staring at the same page for several minutes, reading the same paragraph over and over again yet your brain cannot seem to process the words in front of you. It’s not your fault. Likely, it’s not the fault of the book, either.
You’re just distracted.
People nowadays don’t get a lot of time when they’re surrounded by quiet. This is especially true in cities where the sound of traffic and other people is often constant. It can be maddening, this inability to concentrate on your thoughts or what you’re reading or your school assignments or your work. But don’t worry; there are solutions to the problem.
Focus with White Noise
One way to block out background noises is to play white noise in your home or office. You’ve probably heard of white noise machines before since they are pretty popular these days. These devices produce sounds designed which cover up all other ambient noises so that you can focus on what’s more important: work, school studies, etc.
Not all sounds are bad for concentration. White noise has actually been found to be effective in drowning out unwanted auditory distractions and improving concentration. You’ve probably heard about it used in nurseries to encourage babies to sleep undisturbed throughout the night.
A similar effect can be achieved by listening to recordings of natural noises such as the sound of rainfall, rushing waterfalls, and ocean waves crashing upon the shore. There are even smartphone apps that simulate this for your listening pleasure.
Choose Quiet Home Appliances
A lot of noises at home come from the devices that people use. The refrigerator, air conditioning and heating unit, oven and stove, vacuum, and, of course, the television all generate different sounds of various volumes. If you have a louder appliance that’s just down the hall from where you’re trying to concentrate, then it can be very disruptive.
There are a couple of things you can do about this problem. First off, try to replace devices as soon as possible with quieter ones so that their noise level will be lowered. You’d likely notice a significant difference between having an older washing machine and a newer one.
Another option is to replace appliances with ones that emit less noise. The key is choosing which appliances are quieter. An electric fireplace heater, for example, tends to emit less noise. There’s also the possibility that a noisy appliance is in need of maintenance or repair. Once the problem is fixed, the noise will go away. You can even purchase appliances with special features meant to reduce the decibel level of household noises.
Turn Off Your Gadgets
Your gadgets are also creating noise and other distractions. When your smartphone or laptop constantly pings with every notification, it’s hard to concentrate and get into the zone. So why not try turning off these gadgets for a while? If you’re still worried about getting important updates, then set your phone on silent. This way, you’ll only hear the notifications that are important enough to warrant attention. There’s also the option of putting your smartphone in another room entirely.
Make Your Room Absorb Noise
Another option you have to reduce noise pollution is by absorbing it. If the sound of traffic outside your window is distracting, then try placing a rug in front so that the vibrations are less noticeable. You can also hang up blankets or rugs on your walls or windows.
The great thing about these materials is that they will absorb some of those noises before they reach you. This means that not only will the background noise be softer, but your concentration won’t be disrupted by it as much since there’s a lack of vibrations hitting your eardrums.
Arrange Your Schedule
Sometimes, if you can’t stop the noise from distracting you throughout the day, the best thing to do is to move your schedule around so that you can do your work or study during the most peaceful parts of the day. This could be during the evening when everyone is asleep, or around the late afternoon when everyone at home is either at the office or in school.
It’s not the best solution, but it could be what you need to finish your tasks.
Noise pollution is a real issue, and it can be especially disruptive when trying to concentrate on work or school assignments. Whether it’s the sound of traffic outside or the kids playing in the next room, these distractions can make it difficult to stay on task. Thankfully there are ways to reduce noise pollution and improve your focus. These are just a few suggestions that can hopefully help you.