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I’ve had an MP3 player for years. But I am finally putting it to use in the workplace. Here are the three new things I use my MP3 for to make me more productive:
1. Learning on the Go
I have picked up several audio books and podcasts that teach foreign languages. If I am doing tasks that require some concentration, I turn these on and pick up what I can. I am amazed at how much I have retained during later reviews, even though I am not giving my full attention to the lessons.
2. Catching up on Reading
From Audible.com I have a large stockpile of audio books. My local public library also has many audio books in MP3 format. If the tasks I am doing are manual and repetitive, I can turn on a book. It keeps the boredom at bay while keeping me alert enough to perform the tasks at hand.
3. Blocking Out Noise
This is my most productive strategy by far. I sit in an open cubicle arrangement, and even though there is a conference room right there, people will still conduct meetings and conference calls in their cubes. There is a lot of noise around me. I have three different types of blocking: pink noise, nature sounds, and music. I find that pink noise will drown out voices and laughing (or yelling), and nature sounds will cover up the general noises of many people typing and clicking. I use music, particularly classical, when I need to sharpen my focus on a task at hand.
Photo by Andrew*