When I read the article on getting down to essentials, my mind wandered on to what I would consider my essential tools to productivity. There were three that stood out, and I will talk about each over the rest of the week. My third best productivity tool are a group of things I call “distraction blockers”.
What Are Distraction Blockers?
I consider anything that can help me block outside noises to be a distraction blocker. I am more likely to get sidetracked by sounds than visual objects, so my distraction blockers are generally geared toward this. The devices I use are radios, white noise machines and my MP3 player.
How Do I Use These?
These devices produce sounds that feed into my consciousness so that I can block out external noises that might otherwise disrupt me. Which one I use depends on where I am and what I am trying to do.White noise/nature sound machines work well at home, but a more portable option is my MP3 player.
If I am in a setting where there is a lot of vocal noise, I will choose classical music or white noise. If I am in a setting with a lot of noise, I will choose an audio book or vocal music.
Tips For Using Distraction Blockers
- Pick something you can tune out. Books work well for me in an industrial setting, but it has to be something I have read before that I can tune out and not worry about. My favorites include Pride and Prejudice (which I have read so often as to have large parts of it memorized) and A Short History of Nearly Everything (which is neither short nor inclusive, and easily ignored).
- Pick songs that will not stick. Nothing is quite as bad as having a song stuck in your head. (Think Henry The Eighth). If you choose your music wisely, you will avoid having this happen to you.
- If you are on the go, get good quality headphones. Good quality headphones will make it less likely outside noise will intrude, and will also make sure you don’t have to turn the volume up to the point where others can hear what you are listening to.
Tuning out what is going on around me makes it it more likely that I will be able to concentrate fully on the task at hand. Distraction blockers are one way I make that happen.
Articles in this Series:
- Essentials to Productivity
- Top Essential Tools #1: Written Routines
- Top Essential Tools #2: Timers
- Top Essential Tools #3: Distraction Blockers