A lot of times when I’m doing something productive, I need some kind of sound in the background to help me focus. It might sound strange, especially since some people might feel that they focus better without sound, but everyone does have their own preference. Personally, I need something. It could be the sound of the fan I have blowing in my room (and it is a pretty loud fan, even on its lowest setting), it could be certain music, it could even be a movie or videos I have playing in the background.

This is just a thing I’ve always had. Even as a kid, I knew I needed something, so I’d often have music from a radio, CDs, or even noise from TV shows. My mother noticed one day and said I should turn it off to help focus better, but I told her I’ve always done this and she was just flabbergasted. It helps me, though, because it sort of “filters” out any other background noise. Like the noise of my brother having sex with his girlfriend one evening. I didn’t need to hear that. It was late at night and I was trying to sleep. So I quickly turned the TV on and set a sleep timer so it’d turn off after I fall asleep.

Thank you TV, you’re my best friend.

          No joke, I really did hear them going at it. I’m not going to say it gave me nightmares, ‘cause that wouldn’t even make sense. And before anyone says, “Oh well they could’ve been doing anything. Maybe they were banging nails into the wall to hang a picture! Maybe his girlfriend was shouting his name because they were recording voice-over for something. Maybe it sounded like she was loudly gasping because she finished exercising in the late night and maybe that other sound was them moving a treadmill around!”

Yeah… no. I know they were doing it because the next day, when I was playing video games in his room and went to throw something away, I noticed in his garbage can a torn package for a condom. And yes, I even saw the used condom. And no, I didn’t freak out because I continued playing Grand Theft Auto. And yes, I might’ve been using the cheats. It was a fun time making the cars fly around and pretending I was George Jetson, don’t judge me.

So anyway, music helps too. The kind of music I listen to varies depending on what I’m working on. For instance, dance music can help me get excited and ready to do something, but then it helps me focus since I let it repeat, keeping me in the mood. A lot of times, though, it’s something instrumental like old video game music, synth wave, or especially film scores. Some of my favourites are definitely Edward Shearmur’s K-Pax score, Mark Mancina’s action-packed work from films like Bad Boys and Speed, and especially Randy Edelman’s music from various 90’s films. Another good one that always helps me feel productive is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score from The Social Network.

Try not feeling productive when you hear this. Hard, isn’t it?

          Still, I do see why people like the idea of working in silence and have found myself really enjoying late-night evenings in which I turn off all the lights and sound-producing things, sit in front of a laptop, load up a distraction-free word processor, and just type away. At a certain point, though, I feel like the sound of me typing needs to be accompanied by something and I end up playing coffee-shop ambiance from my phone or Youtube. I definitely recommend trying this if it intrigues you.

An aspect of the coffee shop ambiance that I enjoy is the fact that it’s sound of people, and I like being out and about. So when I’m in my room but if it’s too late to go out, the noise helps me feel like I’m around other people.  Even in school, I loved the feel of being surrounded by others on campus, so I’d lounge around during lunch time and read or write.

Regardless of your personal preference, I feel like many people in some ways want some kind of sound, even if it’s soft ambiance of a room.  Either way, you want to enjoy your surroundings and immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing.

So until next time, always chew your food thoroughly.  And uhh… don’t chew too loudly, that’s just unpleasant.  Have a good one!  o/

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