Looking to improve productivity?

Updated: Jan 19


This time of year, as applications deadlines grow closer or clients buckle down for an end-of-year job search, people often mention that to get things done, they head off to the library or lock themselves in their room. We want to offer some different ideas!


Head to a coffee shop

There’s a reason why people head to coffee shops to get work done – the whirring of an espresso machine and lively background conversations may actually help boost productivity. Research shows that ambient (or even not-so-ambient) sounds can actually be conducive to your creativity; the sweet spot for productivity is a low to medium range of sound: 50dB – 70dB. One of the striking findings is that, “a moderate (vs. low) level of noise increases processing difficulty, inducing a higher construal level and thus promoting abstract processing.” Talk about making your brain work!


Create your own background noise

A coffee shop may not be the best fit for you, but you can still get your creative juices flowing by listening to various sounds. Recommended apps for background noise such as Coffitivity, Ambient Mixer, and Raining.fm will help you tune out and focus. Music can also help you establish a working rhythm, such as the recommended Music for Airports album. Another forum recommends music that is set to the tempo of 60 beats per minute to encourage creativity. LifeHacker also has multiple suggestions from its readers – one of the solutions may be right for you.