My not-so-secret Earbud Productivity Hack
OK- ready for the quickest, easiest and cheapest (because I practically guarantee you already own what’s needed) productivity hack out there?
Listen to your earbuds or headphones….with nothing playing.
Ground breaking, I know.
This is something I stumbled upon and now do ALL the time because of how well it works for me. It all started when I plugged my earbuds into the computer, fully anticipating to listen to one of my amazing playlists or some background tunes, when I got so slammed I realized hours had gone by and I hadn’t listened to anything (actually, by ‘realize’ I mean I got up from my computer and those poor buds rocketed out of my ears…).
At first I was kind of irritated at myself for forgetting to play something, then I realized: maybe not listening to anything actually boosted my productivity. Since then I’ve heard of quite a few other people who’ve used this technique and have had success as well.
After giving it some thought…here’s 4 reasons why I think it works so fantastically:
1. It serves as a CUE to get yourself into work mode.
When I put my earbuds in, it’s like something is telling my brain “alright, stop screwing around- it’s time to focus!” Utilizing cues is a great way to switch gears and ready your mind for the next task.
2. People bother you less.
This one is especially great if you work in an office setting… or really anywhere you’re around others who are likely to distract you. I know I personally am less likely to ask someone a question, or show them some stupid YouTube video if I see they’ve got earbuds in. It’s a cue to other people that you’re busy, you’re working and you’re trying really hard to focus. They don’t have to know that you’re not listening to anything…
3. It blocks out noise distractions.
Don’t confuse this with thinking you’re not going to hear those distractions, because unless you have soundproof headphones (which I would LOVE to get, hint hint to someone in particular out there reading this…) you will still hear what’s going on around you. However- when I have earbuds in, it’s almost like I’m tricking my brain into thinking I SHOULD be listening to something- and then the other noises seem to fall into the background. At the very least, I’m sure if muffles the noises.
4. Music can be really distracting.
I used to be ALL about making work playlists and trying out new genres to get me motivated. And don’t get me wrong- I definitely still have days when music is just what I need to push me through. But most of the time I would find myself getting distracted by the music, wanting to sing along, getting irritated when a ‘thumbs down’ worthy song came along, or even just switching between stations or lists. Also when a song would end and another would start I felt like sometimes it jolts me out of my rhythm.
So there you go! Easy peasy. This is seriously something I do EVERY day. Whether I’m at my home office or out in a coffee shop, I’ve got those puppies in my ears with sweet nothingness keeping me motivated (go ahead, call me out on it next time you see me… Have you tried this before? Are you going to try it now? If you do- let me know how it goes! Did you love it, or were you totally bored?
As always- thanks for checking this out, now go live a productively awesome life!
PS. I really do love music, and listen to it at all other times I’m not working- if you’d like to be playlist buddies hit me up on Spotify (search Victoria Vosler) and share some tunes with me!