Most of us live and work in noisy environments. This can hurt our health, concentration, and happiness. As silence becomes rarer and more valuable, we’d be wise to seek it out. Here are some ways to do so:
- Turn off the TV or radio. We tend to fill silence with music, radio programs, or television shows, but our minds need downtime. Instead of listening to a podcast or putting the game on “in the background,” try turning the device off and letting your mind wander.
- Use earplugs rather than earbuds. Instead of replacing unwanted noise with wanted noise, use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. While music certainly has its benefits, research shows that it may actually decrease a person’s capacity for recall.
- Shut your door. We often maintain “open door policies” even when we need to concentrate. There are circumstances that call for collaboration, but we should also allow times for intense focus.
Adapted from “Find Quiet (and Maybe Even Peace) at Work” by John Coleman.