Monday Motivations: The Best Apps for Background Sound

Monday motivations is meant to do just that: motivate. It is an opportunity to motivate and challenge each one of us to growth by providing tools and tips to steward the gifts that we have been given. I am always looking for ways to improve productivity and to do more and do it well. Like many people, I enjoy and prefer to have background sounds going as I engage in whatever tasks are before me.
I recognize that every person can produce research to prove or disprove the effectiveness of such a strategy of work. Personally, I am not about the research. Instead I am more concerned about the strategies and situations that work for an individual (I know that sounds contrary to my ongoing battle against elevating self, but the difference here is supplanting man-made research with a knowledge of self, not supplanting God-given truth with the the exaltation of self). So for those who like to have some background or ambient noise, here are three websites that I commonly use:
1) Coffitivity: So many people love to study at coffee shops. Why is that? Supposedly it boosts creativity and productivity, or so the research at this website says. Again, I’m not about the research here because I am sure you could prove both sides. Either way, there’s no denying that many people have a proclivity for such an atmosphere. But what if you can’t get out? Then create the atmosphere in your office and bring the sounds to you. With several different ‘types’ of coffee shops, you can pick the coffee shop of your choice. For a paid subscription you can get the use of additional coffee shops, but I have found the free service to be more than adequate. Get bored with that? Check out Youtube and search for coffeeshop noise and you’ll find many options (although you have to factor in the disruption of those annoying ads).
2) Noisli: Noisli is great! Not only does it give you a variety of natural sounds to choose from, but can customize them. Perhaps you have a nice thunderstorm going in the background, but the thunder is too distracting. Simply turn the thunder down a bit and add some additional rain, and you’re all set. Even more, is the site is free.
3) Brain FM: This one costs, and so I only recommend it for those who find it as the best option and will use it extensively. The website is directed at bringing together what they considered to be the ‘best’ music to relax you, help you sleep, or help you focus.
So which one do I recommend the most? The one that works for you. I use any combination of the first two, since they don’t cost. However, I don’t limit myself to that. Sometimes I go find specific sounds or music on YouTube. Another good one can be Pandora (unfortunately I quit using it because it is not available overseas, but it used to be one of my favorites). While YouTube and Pandora are great at bringing in music, the constant change can be distracting. Even more, with sites like YouTube, it’s too easy to get distracted and start throwing things into the search box. Before you know it, you’ve watched an hour of funny cat videos and lost your productivity. That kind of defeats the purpose. Instead, these sites offer something unique and they are geared specifically towards aiding you in your work. They are non-distracting and mellow; at the very least they are worth a visit and perhaps will give you ideas for other sounds to help you. It’s Monday, the hardest day of the week for many, so certainly it can hurt to give it a try today of all days.