There is a reason why we turn down the music in our cars when approaching a tricky traffic situation: music can distracting. For many people, listening to music at work can be equally distracting when it comes to staying productive. Unless you add even more noise to the mix, then it can actually enhance creativity; so says the designers of Coffivity.
Coffivity is a free app that plays ambient noise from their website. The idea is to play ambient noise in conjunction with listening to your favorite music. Coffivity cites scientific research to make the claim that when ambient noise is played at just a slightly louder volume than music, the chaos that ensues will actually help you to focus better on your project. Coffivity summarizes the process like this:
Research shows it’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space. And a loud workplace can be frustrating and distracting. But, the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing.
Coffivity is currently in a beta version and only has one ambient noise available, the sound of a coffee shop. By playing Coffivity along with your play-list from your media player, you will be whisked away to your favorite bistro. Close your eyes and the rustling of the dishes mixed with inaudible voices of coffee lovers, along with your favorite music, will all make for a surprisingly relaxing audible experience. Just don’t keep your eyes closed for too long because the whole point of this is to get work done.
Coffivity has a great looking website that is easy to use, informative, and even has a Twitter feed with people commenting about how surprised they are at how well Coffivity keeps them focused. If you try Coffivity and find that it helps you to focus, then you might be interested in trying out more ambient noises. YouTube has a wide selection of ambient noises to choose from, with tracks lasting for hours. Using and ambient noise, your headphones can be your ticket to take your mind anywhere that you want to go while sitting at your desk.
Coffivity may not be for everyone. It seems like there are a few lucky people in each office that can listen to music and be creative without any problem. For these lucky few, Coffivity and ambient noise may still be worth trying out just to have the experience of being transported to a place that is more magical than your lame desk.
What do you think, or can you even think with all the distractions going on around you? Try out Coffivity for yourself and let us know in the comments if you have found ambient noise to be a productivity help or just another distraction.