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Show Of Hands November 26th, 2012 12:00am

Do you find it easier to focus in total silence or with some ambient noise?

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Weave77 Indianapolis
11/28/12 10:47 am

I find it easier to focus once my phone dies, and I actually study instead of answer questions on SOH...

11/27/12 12:10 pm

There is always ambient noise. Sometimes you just filter it out.

fourwinds box of rain
11/27/12 8:59 am

Depends on what I'm doing; if I'm performing low level repetitive tasks like running calculations in excel or preparing a presentation, background music helps me work a little faster actually. But if I'm writing or reading I usually need silence.

centexken Republic of Texas
11/27/12 6:35 am

I don't know. I'm 47 and like classic metal in the background.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
11/27/12 6:26 am

I have to be near noise. Live by the highway. Fans on max when I sleep. Sometimes music. I can't take the silence, there has to be noise.

11/27/12 2:27 am

Music will guarantee I stay awake and listen intensely - TV also has talk, that's worse.

11/27/12 2:07 am

I wish I had an ignore switch on my primary auditory cortex so I can ignore loud noises such as peoples' conversation nearby.

11/27/12 2:05 am

I must focus in COMPLETE silence.

Doopy Remedial Americanism
11/27/12 1:48 am

I can focus in almost any environment.

11/26/12 9:45 pm

If there's a lot of ambient noise I can block it all out in my head. If there's silence, the smallest sound can distract me

kayjayleh Lansing, MI
11/26/12 9:37 pm

Unless it's my 9 minute track of a hair dryer on my iPod, blasting through my headphones, I need absolute quiet. Anything can distract me. Especially that kid behind me who needs whispering lessons and thinks only the kid next to him can hear him talking about Black Ops 2. SILENCE!!! I KILL YOU!!!

vanguarde Kennesaw, GA
11/26/12 9:01 pm

The Album Leaf, Saxon Shore, and Explosions in the Sky. Good stuff.

yoggsaron Las Vegas
11/26/12 8:31 pm

Just tv in the background doesn't matter whats on.

pinkyusuck The Carribean. I wish.
11/26/12 8:28 pm

I find Godsmack is good for helping me focus. Go figure.

dancestar8 Pennsylvania
11/26/12 8:13 pm

It depends, if I'm solving a math problem I don't mind noise. I usually play music while doing math homework. But if I'm doing history or reading I need silence to concentrate.

Wert A picture of my junk
11/26/12 6:42 pm

Shhhh... trying to concentrate.

11/26/12 6:23 pm

Same here I have to have my fan on also I have to play some classic or New Age music on my iPod or it would take me forever to fall asleep

11/26/12 6:19 pm

I said Silences but it depends on what I'm studying or doing like if I'm just doing homework I like to have a little background music playing but if I'm studying for a test then it's complete silences

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
11/26/12 6:11 pm

The sounds of silence for this girl.

HayleyS looking up.
11/26/12 5:57 pm

A tv show that I'm not interested in is the best thing for me.

11/26/12 5:29 pm

Depends on what I'm focusing on. If I'm having trouble focusing or solving a problem I'll switch it up regardless of noise or silence. Sometimes a change helps my mind refocus.

11/26/12 5:05 pm

I need at least some noise. Total quiet makes my mind wander about why it's so quiet and it bothers me. I don't like super noisy but the sound of chatty coworkers around me is usually enough

11/26/12 3:42 pm

I have to be listening to music while I work or I can't focus at all. Total silence is just too quite and distracting all on its own, but if I'm in a room with talking people I will listen to all the noise instead of work, so I have to have some music.

dabrat East Coast
11/26/12 3:36 pm

I love quiet but my son - give him noise. I always wonder if he's really concentrating but I know some people are better suited to ambient noise. Or in his case headphones.

bigdaddy1 Nashville
11/26/12 3:29 pm

Bring on the Death Metal \m/(> <)\m/

BlackBenz Northwest Arkansas
11/26/12 2:55 pm

Lmurder: I will turn the TV on and set a timer for 30 minutes. It helps me fall asleep as well.

chrismisen atlanta
11/26/12 1:58 pm

as long as it's constant, i dont really care. i usually listen to music so the noise is more uniform, but i think silence would probably work the best. no way to get that in my house though.

optimist6 Fort Wayne, IN
11/26/12 1:39 pm

Definitely ambient noise. I can't consentrate in total silence

11/26/12 1:35 pm

Some white noise or soft music works best for me.

epicawesum Indiana
11/26/12 1:17 pm

Can't deal with the complete silence because it gives my brain room to wonder off. Any type of music will help me focus

MrWolfe Nashville
11/26/12 12:57 pm

Love white noise for sleeping (always have a fan on or something similar.)
Not sure about it making it easier to 'focus,' though.

11/26/12 12:49 pm

I can lock about anything out - except a direct punch maybe ;)

lmurder MDK
11/26/12 12:44 pm

It's weird but I have to have the tv on when I go to sleep till I wake up.

snafu Washington
11/26/12 12:00 pm

I have to have complete silence to study or read although I'll listen to classical music while reading sometimes.

lmurder MDK
11/26/12 10:41 am

When I was in college I listened to classical music when I studied.

HalfDozenMama in my scrapbook room
11/26/12 10:38 am

For all things, some noise please, but especially sleep! I can NOT fall asleep without some 'white noise' like a fan, an app playing 'rain sounds'- something.

davidwhite1 Building it Bigger
11/26/12 10:07 am

I can tune the world out when I need to focus. Silence or noise all the same to me, I won't even here the radio if I am concentrating.

gonzoboy Arizona
11/26/12 10:01 am

I find absolute or 'dead' silence to be nearly as distracting as too much, or loud 'noise'. I much prefer music, sometimes TV, in the background.????

11/26/12 9:50 am

As an avid music listener, the silence drives me crazy

Zod Above Pugetropolis
11/26/12 9:13 am

It can't be anything that will draw my attention, like music, the TV, conversations, or the like, but I focus best with some kind of background noise. Heavy rain pounding on the roof is best, or a moderately loud fan. If there isn't something to mask them, every little sound becomes a distraction.

11/26/12 9:07 am

As a teen, I focused better if I had music playing while I worked/studied.

11/26/12 9:05 am

I'm pushing 40 and find that the older I get, the quieter I need it to be in order to concentrate.

EarlyBird Portland
11/26/12 9:02 am

It's early but people 40+ need complete silence. I fit the category perfectly.

katniss Dallas, TX
11/26/12 8:57 am

I like to listen to the old John Mayer albums while I study!

Dan653 New Jersey
11/26/12 8:50 am

Lifehacker! You're more creative when there is ambient noise.

11/26/12 8:20 am

Doesn't matter what I want. I live in a college town. I haven't known silence for 4 years! But I prefer some music in the background when I'm working.