The word "Ambient" means intermediate surroundings, and many people associate ambient noise with sounds available on the internet to keep you focused. Many people, while studying or doing any other work, need a constant flow of music in their ears.
An average person listens to 961 hours and 10 minutes of music annually. A study in 2021 showed that adults listening to music had reduced cortisol levels. There are many side effects of music if you constantly have them turned on for the whole day, but there are some ways that music can help you study without getting distracted.
This article is about my recommendations for music that will help you improve your productivity and defeat procrastination. However, I use the word "music" here to remember that these sounds should be listened to if you are stuck in a noisy, crowded environment and don't know how to study or when you are not motivated at all to study.
These cases arise every now, and thus; I believe this article will be beneficial and will help you become focused.
Does music help you focus?
These sounds are only to provide you with an environment for you to study, but it is up to you to study and concentrate on the work.
There still can be many distractions that I believe you will find solutions to. Just remember, nothing comes out after blaming yourself for anything. Before jumping to any conclusions, let's first understand the distraction.
What is a distraction, and how can focus music keep you from getting distracted?
Basically, distractions are habits that take your attention away from your main task and put it on something less important.
The best example is when you try to study, but your brain keeps telling you to stop and do something else that will make your mind happy.
Now that you know the distraction, you can easily beat it with "focus music".
How can music help you focus?
It's easy to see that our brains respond to different kinds of music in very different ways. If you listen to focus music, your brain will become more focused. If you listen to chilling music, your brain will start to get into a chilling mood. If you listen to sad music, your mood will get sadder. And if you listen to classical music, your brain will start to calm down. This is because sounds affect our moods in some ways. The same is true for other types of music and focus music.
Let's explore sounds that can help with concentration.
White Noise for study focus
White noise is a special type of noise that contains all the frequencies in the audible region with the same intensity. It is sometimes referred to as broadband noise, as it is similar to the noise of an untuned TV without a signal.
Research has shown that it can reduce distraction, and improve concentration, especially for people suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Many people buy white noise-producing machines to help them with sleeping problems like insomnia.
In my opinion, the constant humming sound helps me set up the mood for my study or helps me not get distracted. The only problem I find with white noise is when I play it at a loud volume, I become dependent on the music for my concentration.
When I say "white noise", it is just noise playing in your ears. When you start listening to it, you will realise that it is nothing but just a humming sound that can be irritating when you first hear it. This may sound counterintuitive, but I can reflect upon my thoughts while listening to this.
This can take a while because it is difficult to concentrate on one special voice, you, among all the noise.
The disoriented mind can resolve its issues, like stressing about the next task, not being able to focus, or working on a particular task, when listening to it. White noise can be helpful if you want isolation from your thoughts and outside distractions.
Clock timer for focused studies
The clock timer, or the Pomodoro timer is very well known if you have read my previous article. The sense of urgency that the clock timer creates establishes a warning symbol in the mind that helps in studying when you really need to. The clock's ticking can also work as a focusing instrument, reminding you that you still have unfinished business.
If "white noise" is for distractions or loud background noises, a clock timer is used for systematic studies. Whenever you assign yourself something, this is the go-to sound.
It creates pressure on your mind, which helps in reducing procrastination. Living in a hostel makes it very hard to focus on one task for a longer duration, as anything can come up. You can either isolate yourself from the world, which will help you focus but dealing with uncertainty daily can shape you very differently.
Without a method, it is practically hard to monitor your progress, practise the talent you wish to acquire, or alter your habits in order to become a better version of yourself.
A clock timer sets you up for a systematic workflow, that will help you organise your thoughts and will set you up for work with focused attention.
Binaural beats/music for focus studies
When you hear two sounds - one frequency of, let's say, 212 Hz in your right ear and another at 232 Hz in your left ear. The auditory illusion that you hear is of frequency 20 Hz. There are many applications of Binaural beats like music and help tune instruments.
The beats provide you with an aura that helps you reduce anxiety and improve concentration. The difference between the beats cannot be more than 30 Hz for the binaural beat to work.
Meditation is shown to improve concentration, calm and soothe the mind. Also, the regular practice of it has proven benefits. However, most of us cannot do it mainly because we don't believe in it or don't get time. It has been shown that the frequency between 1 to 30 Hz produces brain waves that are similar to the ones when we are meditating.
This process of aligning the brain to an outside frequency is known as entrainment. Different brain waves are associated with different mood states of the mind. Thus, "binaural beats" impact mood, focus and sleep.
Bhajan/Bhakti sounds for focused studies
Many people wouldn't believe this, but remembering God alongside studying can actually help you concentrate more on work. Now, this is very different from other sounds listed in this article, as it shouldn't be played at loud music but at a very low volume. Bhajans engage your mind and don't let you escape the concentration barrier.
Meditating can be challenging to practice because of all the distractions and decreasing attention span daily. The majestic feeling bhajans have let you unlock a different emotion many of us have never experienced before. Reverence and respect arise when we listen to divine songs.
Bhajan comes from the Sanskrit word, "Bhajanam", which means reverence. The root word of Bhajan is "Bhaj", which means "to belong". Some prefer bhajans at very low volume when working, or they want to hear it whenever they want to refresh their minds.
When you listen to bhajans, emotions like anger, jealousy, and irritation, disappear when you listen to them.
I prefer listening to bhajans in the morning as it helps clear every thought that comes to mind.
According to my experience, bhajans are a collection of sounds that may clear your mind and allow you to focus on whatever you like.
Low Tempo Music for focused studies
The slow tempo is below 80 beats per minute. Tempo is the speed of the music. It depends on the person which type of music they want to listen to while they are doing their work. Some people get distracted while listening to lyrical music.
I know I get high dopamine levels when I listen to hip-hop music or old Bollywood songs. That is why I prefer to listen to them while working.
"Low-tempo music" refers to music where you don't have a lot of instruments in the song. It can be beneficial if you want to remove boredom while working.
This type of music may not be the best option for enjoying it in real life, so many people avoid these songs completely. I suggest you listen to songs like these while studying and then pick one or two songs that should stay consistent with your workflow.
Everybody prefers to listen to songs, which is why it depends on the person if they don't want to hear the music at all. It is alright if you cannot focus on the work without any background music playing. Sometimes, we are too uncomfortable with silence; therefore, we need some amount of disturbance to start an action.
We all procrastinate in our lives more often than we work, but that doesn't- mean we stop working completely. The way of working is different for every human out there. Thus, it would help if you found what works best for you. Environment matters a lot when trying to do anything in your life. If your environment supports it becomes easier for you to implement, but not everybody has the same environment.
Therefore, it can be beneficial to take the help of these tools when you are out of options and not in control of yourself.
Instrumental music for focused studies.
This is also one of the greatest genres of music for allowing us to concentrate on our studies for extended periods of time. This is not difficult to understand because we all enjoy the sound of musical instruments.
To be honest, I feel peaceful when I listen to flute music; the flute is my favourite instrument.
So you may be drawn to the music of any instrument, such as piano music, flute music, casino music, banjo music, and so on.
It is up to you to figure out what sounds fit your hearing, but there must be some noises that your ears desire to listen to for hours, so find these sounds and stick to them till you finish your studies.
Many different sounds/music help you focus on your studies.
- Nature music.
- Crowd noise/music.
- Lofi beats.
- Chill cow beats.
But I mainly wrote about some of the most effective sounds and what my research concluded.
If you feel anything is missing, please let me know in the comments, and I will surely add more focus sounds/music to the above list.
Thanks for reading.
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