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Best and Worst Background Noise to do Work in

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When I’m doing schoolwork, it can sometimes be difficult to stay focused. With my phone always in the back of my mind, it’s hard to keep my homework at the forefront. In order to stop my procrastinating, I need to have background noise playing from my phone or from my surroundings in general. These are some examples of what I think are the best background noise to do work in, along with some background noise that brings me to the brink of a mental breakdown.

Best
  • Public Places
    • I am a sucker for white noise when it comes to doing work. I much prefer to have some sort of sound while I’m working as opposed to total silence. When there is total silence, I tend to think too much about how I am not hearing anything, which distracts me. Going to various places on campus where you can do work, like the HUB, the library or a coffee shop, is the perfect spot for me to get my act together and crack down on some homework.
  • Lo-fi Music
    • Lo-fi music is the best music for studying without a doubt. It’s not like there are hundreds of live YouTube videos that play lo-fi music for studying for nothing! With just some instrumental music playing in the background while I’m working, I’m able to have white noise and tune out the music, because it’s not overly distracting. When I do work, I want background noise that I can hear without losing focus.
Worst
  • Lyrical Music
    • This is one of the worst ways for me to do work, especially if I know the songs. I feel like the only way someone can work while listening to songs with lyrics in them is if they’re doing math homework or something along those lines. However, I am a communications major, so I stay as far away from math as I possibly can. Since a lot of classwork for me involves reading and writing, it is practically impossible for me to focus with lyrical songs. I always turn these songs off out of frustration in the end.
  • Friend Conversations
    • This is another rough one. When I am with my friends and realize I have to do homework, I need to go to a separate room or none of it is getting done. I always want to hear what everyone is saying, and think of ways that I can contribute to the conversation. When all is said and done, I barely finish any of my work and I end up more stressed than I was before. In order to prevent this from happening, I stay in a separate room until AFTER I finish the important work I need to get done.
  • TV Shows
    • Lastly, TV shows. This is in the same realm as lyrical music for me, but it’s not as bad. If there’s a sit-com on, like “Friends,” I can do homework while listening to it. However, if it is important homework, it would be most efficient for me to use the background noise in my “best” category mentioned above. This is probably the best “worst” option for me, though, out of everything else I have mentioned.

Figuring out which background noise works best for you is key to boosting your productivity and staying focused.

Shannon is a junior from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in sports studies. She loves La La Land, rom-coms, and the music industry (Taylor Swift). Follow her on Twitter @shantanczos!