This is the view of my office ceiling. It’s the only thing dividing me from one of my suite mates, Brandon.
If Brandon could hear what happens in my office, he would be singing the praises of my mad typing skills. Sadly, he can’t.
Conversely, I can tell you that Brandon likes to pace during phone calls, he talks to himself (sometimes he answers himself), and he enjoys listening to music while he works. Led Zeppelin. Eazy E. The best of the 80s. If I want him to increase the volume or, more often, give him a hard time, I’ll send a quick email or message through Facebook. Which is what I did this morning when I heard a Rachmaninoff piano concerto through his floor boards.
“Your musical selections continue to surprise…,” I messaged.
He replied with a single link: www.focusatwill.com. Then he explained:
It is a fascinating psychological tool. It is very very effective for me to concentrate. The idea is that you play music that doesn’t interest you so it doesn’t engage your conscious mind but occupies your subconscious mind so that you can focus. I have used it for 8-hour coding binges and have had amazing levels of concentration and calmness.
I researched the site, which claims that it’s okay to play music while you work or study, as long as it’s the right music. “Mainstream music lowers comprehension and creates distraction because it is designed to connect with you intellectually and emotionally. Focus@will technology delivers various ‘Attention Amplifying’ music channels scientifically designed to engage with your brain’s limbic system. This soothes the easily distracted fight or flight mechanism increasing attention span and general focus.”
The site had a “try it for free” button, so I did. Focus@will offers a variety of musical genres, including classical, focus spa, alpha chill, acoustical, cinematic, ambient and baroque piano. (They had one called ADHD Beta Test, which I found a little frightening.) I could even select my preferred music energy level within the genre.
The pro version (at $3.75 a month) allows users to track productivity and offers unlimited music access on multiple devices. It also allows you to customize the length of your productivity session, which I think would come in handy for those using the Pomodoro productivity method.
Brandon must have finished his coding. I don’t recall Rodgers and Hammerstein among the selections.