There is only an hour before your paper in physics is due to be submitted, but because the teacher went out, the class started talking, and it all went out of hand. We have all been there, a loud and busy classroom with chatters everywhere, laughter, and sometimes, even shouting. Our first course of action might be to call out our classmates and tell them to stop the noise for a bit, but would that actually help you focus on that one paperwork that you’ve been trying your heart out to get done? Worry no more, This article will give you a few tips to help ease your mind at times like these.
How loud is too loud?
Noise in the classroom is inevitable, and it doesn’t matter what school or grade level you’re in. In Math, Science, or any other class, you’re guaranteed to suffer to some kind of noise of varying intensity. According to some studies, on average school days, the noise is around 70dB — which is as loud as the noise that a common household vacuum cleaner would usually make. To some people, this might not be bothering at all, but to others, this noise might be just enough to cause some level of interference.
Noise-canceling headphones or Earplugs
The most common response of anyone to any type of noise is to cancel it out entirely. Though it might not be as common these days, earplugs are still an option if you wish to not hear any noise altogether from your environment. A more modern but expensive way to cancel out noise is through Noise-cancelling headphones. Though noise-canceling varies from brand to brand, it is still an option and a must-try because for some, because music doesn’t always help, it may even be more distracting. We included this tip for those people that don’t find music or any subtle audio entertainment appealing.
Listening to something
Disconnecting yourself from the noise and setting the tone in your own learning environment is the best way to battle noise. Listen to something relaxing. May it be chill, lo-fi music that would help soothe your nerves or fun podcasts that helps distract you from the noise of the classroom. It’s up to your preference. Listening to music or any other type of audio entertainment sets the mood for yourself. It helps motivate you to learn, and ultimately, it cancels the noise of the background of the environment that you’re in. According to the findings of a Stanford University study, music triggers the part of the brain responsible for paying attention and “makes predictions and updates the brain” during specific events and moments.
Mindset and Goal setting
This might be easier said than done but knowing that you’re in control relieves your mind of the burden of the outside noise. Even though it might be hard at first, acceptance is the key to success, just like everything in life. Accepting that the noise wouldn’t be gone is the first step towards being focused. Another thing is, focusing on what you are doing instead of the noise. The more you think about the loud chatter and noises around you, the fewer things you would get done. Instead of worrying about the noise, channel that brainpower into whatever you are doing and focus on your goal.
Setting strict deadlines
Knowing that something needs to be done around a particular time of day also helps you to focus. Setting priorities and actually implementing them helps you get more things done efficiently. Using timers is also welcome. Timers keep you accurately reminded of how much time do you have left and, to some extent, motivate you to do better even in a fairly noisy work environment.
Organize your work accordingly
Suppose you’re working in a place that often has varying noise levels. It is best to organize the things you’re working on depending on the level of the noise at that specific time. For instance, you’ve noticed that the noise levels are at the lowest during mornings, then set the more focus-intensive workloads during those hours and leave the easier workloads for when the noise is at its peak or when it is the loudest hours. With this in mind, you are not going to waste extra energy on focusing during times when it is almost impossible to focus.
Though some people find it helpful to multitask to get their mind off the noise, in a very distracting environment, doing more things at once can instead lead to poor performance, and it can be extremely overwhelming. People will find themselves switching from one task to another without any practical reason. It might be enticing to do more to finish things and to get away from the noise as soon as possible. Taking it slow will almost always still yield the best results.
Stay well-fed and hydrated
Fascinatingly, not being in the best physical state and condition ultimately affects how your body responds and adapts to noise. Avoiding junk, fast, and processed foods is a good way to overall be more focused. Keeping yourself well hydrated is also one more helpful thing to keep you focused even in a noisy environment. Stimulants such as caffeine and energy drinks are also not advisable. Though it is proven to be effective, most of the time, the effects of these stimulants are only short-term. Regular consumption can lead to dependency and, in the long term, can affect how you would normally function and affect your concentration levels.
Being focused, especially in a noise-filled environment, is not easy to do, but just like everything in life, it is, in fact, possible. It might require some effort on your part, but it is definitely good to be able to perform and excel even in such a harsh learning environment. Hopefully, these tips will help you focus more in noisy environments and help you to overall be a more concentrated, goal-oriented, and resilient learner.