Staying at home during COVID-19 can be hectic and crazy. With everyone now under one roof, it can be hard to find a quiet place to work. While you’re enjoying the extra time with family, maybe you’re also missing sitting at Starbucks and cranking out a few hours of writing or other work. Perhaps you’re a writer, whether for career or hobby, looking to find a new place to finish that draft. Maybe you’re a student looking for a quiet room to complete that English assignment.
Here are five tips to make writing easier while at home.
1. White Noise
The power of white noise is incredible. Many people don’t realize that it’s thousands of sounds entering your ear at the same time. Science has proved that the more sounds you hear simultaneously, the more it affects your brain. Certain sounds allow you to focus on your project and block out any extra noise. TV static works best, but you can also use a quiet radio or even a running shower! According to a study done by the Journal of Consumer Research, white noise at a level of 70dB is the sweet spot for sparking creativity. Any higher than that, it starts to become a distraction. If white noise is too loud, your brain starts to notice the patterns that exist within whatever sound you are using.
2. Mimic The Coffee Shop
Coffee shops are great for writing because they have a sense of community, but at the same time, you’re less likely to be bothered. Just buy a drink, set yourself up at the corner table, and work away. People talking around you can also act as white noise, which can help increase your productivity. Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you can’t simulate this same experience! Grab a sweet treat, pour a cup of coffee, put on some background music, and you’re on your way! I always found that coffee shops know just the right volume to play their music. Too loud and you can’t think. Too quiet and you can hear the guy at the next table talking about how the Toronto Maple Leafs loosing another game.
3. The Kitchen Table
This tip is for all the food-lovers out there. If you rely on a snack to boost your energy, then why not work where the food is plentiful? Your fridge probably has more healthy snack options than your local coffee shop too. I love a good piece of chocolate cake but foods like blueberries, broccoli, and nuts can increase brain performance way more than those sugary delights. You’ve probably heard that dark chocolate can improve your mood, but did you know that it enhances creativity as well? Dark chocolate contains compounds called flavonols, which can lower blood pressure and make people calmer. When you’re relaxed and satisfied, you’re more likely to think clearly, which is when all the good ideas show up. No wonder Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory was so elaborate...
4. The 20 Metres Rule
We all have people in our lives who sound like a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant when they walk in a room. They mean well, but they’re yelling when they think they’re talking at an utterly acceptable volume. I believe those people are the inspiration for the 20 metres rule. It works like this - when you’re over 20 metres away from someone, you can’t hear the person audibly, unless shouting is involved. So obviously, if you want to write where it is quiet, you need to be at least 20 metres away from that person. It’s best to find a low traffic area within your home, where people are less likely to come within 20 metres of you. So, in this case, the kitchen table probably wouldn’t be the best option.
Music is a great way to zone out and zone into what you’re working on. Studies have shown that music helps lower blood pressure, increases productivity, and can even improve your mood. Back in the olden days, listening to classical music was the Spotify of their time. Many inventors, who created technology we still use today, used classical music as their brain boost. However, any form of music will do. Many writers have recognized that music has helped several others before them and are reaping the benefits for themselves. Think about it - how many times have you felt a lot better once you’ve listened to that new song from your favorite artist? Why not feel good when you’re cramming to meet that deadline?
Hopefully, you’ve learned some cool things about writing at home that you may not have considered before. So what are you waiting for? Leave that dull office space and find a new place to spark that creativity!