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Lithi
Lithi

Posted on

How do you focus??

How do you guys focus in an increasingly noisy/busy atmosphere?

I'm the eldest child at home so I'm the constant go to for menial house chores. It's gotten so bad that I started listening to music so I can act like I can't hear themπŸ₯΄

I thank God that I found out about J Dilla and Lo-fi music because any fast or lyric-filled song would always disrupt my train of thought.

What are other things do you guys use to focus? What do you think would help me in my quest of peace and quiet?

Top comments (15)

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ananfito profile image
Anthony Nanfito

(This ended up being longer than I expected so there’s a TLDR at the end)

Yes, headphones 🎧 are a must for a noisy environment, but I use regardless of where I am.

When I study, I turn off all notifications on my phone and computer β€” limiting distractions is the best way to focus and/or get into a flow state.

I like listen to an instrumental song on repeat. I do this because subconsciously the brain naturally wants to analyze and understand the patterns of the music which requires energy which means less energy to dedicate to studying. BUT if it’s the same song over and over, the brain knows what to expect and there’s no need to dedicate brain power to analyzing the song which means more brain power for studying.

As a side effect, I’ve found that having a song on repeats creates a hypnotic like state of focus and I usually choose the same song each time so when I hear the song I’m know it’s time to study (a Pavlovian Conditioning of sorts).

However, I recognize this tactic might now work for everyone so only use it if it works for you.

If I can, I choose a quiet environment, but sometimes that isn’t available so I make do with what I got. If I’m at home, I set boundaries and expectations with my partner not to disturb me during study time.

Obviously this might be harder to do with younger siblings but depending on their age they might be understanding if you explain it to them and why it’s important to you. You could also make a game out of it: whoever disturbs you the least number of times during your dedicated study session gets a reward.

On this note, having a consistent study time is helpful for both you and your siblings β€” young children need consistency and structure. Also, I would suggest having tasks for your younger siblings to do during that time so that they’re less likely to disturb you. For example, do they have studying of their own they could be doing?

As for the β€œmenial chores”, if any of these can be anticipated, I would suggest doing them before you sit down to study. That way you don’t have to worry about it after you’re done study and you can’t be interrupted to do it because it’s already done.

Whatever you do, keep going. Carve out what little time you can whenever you can β€” no matter how small. Focus on the progress you’ve made by keeping a β€œdid it” list each day.

And thanks πŸ™πŸΌ for asking this question (and others like it). It’s helping me self-reflect on my own study πŸ“š practices.

TLDR;

  • Keep using headphones to block out noise
  • Train your siblings that study time means no interruptions (if you can give them something to do while you study and reward them when they don’t interrupt)
  • Try to do chores before you sit down to study
  • Keep going!
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lit_mgwebi profile image
Lithi Author

Bro this is honestly amazing. I have been doing small bits of this and it has gotten me some breathing space, but I'ma do all of it at one go. I really appreciate you carving out time to help me. Thank you

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ananfito profile image
Anthony Nanfito

You’re welcome. 😊 I’m glad you found my advice useful. And like I said, your questions are helping me self reflect on my own habits. Wishing you the best!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

I thank God that I found out about J Dilla and Lo-fi music because any fast or lyric-filled song would always disrupt my train of thought.

Awwww yeah... I love some J Dilla and lo-fi music. πŸ™Œ

If ya would, please come and drop some tunes ya are listening to in my Music Monday series. This next Monday, I think I'll set the topic to be on instrumentals.

But, just to say, I most definitely relate to this post. I have a hard time focusing and music that includes lyrics/singing is definitely distracting.

Bu yeah, if ya get tired of listening to tunes and are looking for another way to block out the distractions, I'd recommend checking out mynoise.net for various types of white noise sounds. I'm a big fan of the rain noise and sleep to it every night. I love that they have an EQ β€” pro-tip: I always cut out the high pitched sounds. Anywho, hope this is helpful to ya!

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lit_mgwebi profile image
Lithi Author

Ohh I'd love to bro, I'll head over to your music series after I post this.
I'll try white noise the next time I code(I try not to code during weekends to avoid burnout).

Thank you very much broπŸ™πŸΎ

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Woot! So awesome to hear ya are down to weigh in.

Here's the newest one:

I gave ya a little shoutout in the opening too! Hope to see some of your suggested music in there. πŸ™Œ

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juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

Several things.
Noise cancelling headphones (or even ear-covering ones would do) and mixes of focus music works wonder. (Even better when the mix lasts for an hour or so and you have in-built timer there)
Having a place that you deemed a "work place", whenever you get in there you enter "work mode". It doesn't have to be an entire room, it can be just a desktop where your things are.
Time-blocking. This is probably one of the most important ones. But this to work you need to communicate with others and tell them that for X amount of time you're going to be unavailable. I normally tell people in my home "do you need something now cuz I'm gonna disappear for the next hour"

There are several other things but I think if you start implementing those, you'll get some productivity gains right there.
Good luck with it.

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lit_mgwebi profile image
Lithi Author

Thank you very much for your advice bro. I've never considered noise canceling headphones and I feel as if that'd be a dope investment.

Bro I'm from South Africa, there's no such thing as "my time" in an African mother's householdπŸ˜‚but I will take it into account, I'll probably just disappear to a quiet corner of the house and turn my phone off.

Thank you for your words of wisdom, I really appreciate itπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ

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juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

You're welcome brother.

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schemetastic profile image
Rodrigo Isaias Calix

I have found useful and at the same time relaxing listening to nature sounds, sometimes I play audios of soft rain, birds singing, windy places, people ambiance.

I have downloaded a considerable amount from Pixabay.

I hope this helps, I have even used some of this sounds to relax before sleeping.

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lit_mgwebi profile image
Lithi Author

The way I completely forgot about nature sounds broπŸ˜­πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈrain sounds make me sleepy as hell, but birds chirping and the genuine sound of "spring" used to put me in the zone.

Thank you very much for reminding me bro. I'll be sure to check it outπŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

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hethinksthrice profile image
ATLIEN.

First of all...s/o to you for listening to J dilla. I also used music...mostly instumentals / jazz music. Maybe you can try a library? Or a coffe ship?

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lit_mgwebi profile image
Lithi Author

J Dilla is the G bro. I literally started listening to Slum Village after listening to his album. Truly a great.

The local library here is garbage, there isn't even wifi. I'll try a coffee shop though. Thank you very much

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Awww yeah, I invited @lit_mgwebi already here but I hope you'll also come join in for my Music Monday discussion series. Each week, I choose a different topic and encourage people to drop music links around it. This next Monday, I'm gonna with instrumentals, so would love to have ya chime in with what you're listening to if you're up for it!

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sreekanth67 profile image
Sreekanth

I got a 2 year old hyper active kid at my home(actually It feels like I am crashing at his place with all his toys laying around).

I cant really work when he is not asleep. so I basically I attend the meeting in the morning and work in the night. I know its a very bad situation for me currently but I hope this will pass soon.

What image format should you use in your next project? πŸ€”