What You Should Listen To When You Really Need To Focus

A simple trick.

Not being able to focus when you need to is a terrible thing. 

Whether you're just having an off day and can't get into it or ADHD makes it a chronic struggle, there is a cool trick that can help cut out the background noise in your mind, allowing you to zero in on the task at hand.

The coolest part? It's as simple as putting in your earbuds and turning on some white noise.

When we think of "white noise" we generally think of a vague term used to describe a constant background sound, whether it's turning a ceiling fan on while you sleep or the static you hear when a radio station is just out of range. 

In a more specific sense, white noise is used to describe a very specific sound that is a blend of all frequencies humans can hear, and the way our brains process it is almost like an auditory illusion. Not only that, but there are many "colors" of noises that are each created in a specific way.

SciShow explains why these colored noises affect our brains the way they do and even why our evolutionary history allows us to find them soothing and better able to focus. 

Check it out here:

If you want to try out the calming effects of colored noise for yourself, there are a number of videos on YouTube or free apps that will allow you to find which noise works best for you.

For the greatest effect to help you focus, listen to colored noise while wearing earbuds. However, the noise does take some getting used to, so it might be best to either start by listening without earbuds or have the volume turned low, working your way up. 

If this static-type noise is a bit too flat, try listening to binaural tones, which provide a type of pulsing sensation. Binaural tones have been the target of a lot of pseudoscientific claims of spiritual or healing properties, but there isn't any evidence to support that it's anything more than the placebo effect. It might not make you hallucinate or cure whatever ails you, but it can be soothing enough to help you focus.