It is official, I have completed my degree. After 6 years. Add in a stint in high school in the International Baccalaureate program that granted me two high school diplomas, I'm OBVIOUSLY an expert on studying.
Or I am just truly burnt out and have massive self sabotage tendencies. Let's go with both...
The point of this blog isn't to brag about my study skills, but actually share a tool I discovered last year that makes my study and work time better.
I'm neurodivergent. My brain doesn't process things the way 'normal' people do. I constantly need sound to function, and if there isn't something going on in the background, nothing will get done. Currently I am listening to the Octonauts movie (got a kid home sick) as well as the puppy and her heavy paws tearing apart the living room. Not my ideal sounds, but when you need to be listening for puking, the sound of the pup squatting, or anything else, you can't always get what you want.
My ideal sound background is a combination of things, I am actually trying to move away from Netflix and switch to sounds that actually improve my life. I don't think potential employers care if I can list of what happened in season four of the reboot of Dynasty. I wish I could listen to audio books or podcasts while I work, but my brain just isn't able to absorb the content while also producing work.
The secret weapon that helps me focus in creative ruts or when I needed to smash a course of study in three days is Brainwaves. What the hell are brainwaves? According to my favorite app:
Different states of mind are associated with specific brainwave frequencies that would be inaudible if played directly. These frequencies can be induced in the brain by playing two different tones into each ear (binaural tones), which after being processed by the brain, are perceived as an inaudible beat matching the target brainwave frequency. As you listen, your own brainwaves fall into step and synchronize with this frequency.
BrainWave uses low, mid, and high frequency ranges of Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma binaural tones combined in layers and stages to create powerful multi-stage experiences.
Heckin' neat, right? They have different nature sounds within the app, allows you to enable it for different lengths of time, and even use it over the sound of other apps. I listen to them with music, ambient sounds- which we will get to shortly, as well as tv shows. I know a sure fire way to get a quick nap is to turn on The Office and I play the powernap waves to make the most of the downtime and wake up refreshed.
If you aren't using Brainwaves, you SHOULD. It is a $5 purchase, but these have made such a huge impact on my life. Be sure to invest in some over the ear headphones for the best results.
This isn't my only secret weapon. Have you heard of ambient sounds? Or even the Pomodoro Technique? While the technique can be nifty, I'm more interested in the sounds so many creators put up.
The soundtrack of my degree finish was the sound of being on the Hogwarts Express. I'm a huge nerd and being able to find nerdy themed ambient sound scenes was amazing! It helped me feel EXCITED for studying! I would actually sit and do it with my Brainwaves playing behind them. These sounds or more neutral background sounds that allow me to put out a higher level of work and production. I don't have stagnant noise, I don't have a tv show catching my attention at times pulling me off track, I have nice neutral sounds like birds or page turning or land passing by. It is beautiful and peaceful and I highly recommend it to anyone.
If you need a starting point for YouTube, I suggest the Peaceful Ambience channel or even my little playlist here.
When you start using these two tools, let me know which Brainwave program and ambient sound becomes your favorite!