I remember when I was a kid, my mother made me write and do my homework in complete silence. She thought quiet was better. My teacher finally told her that it would be better if she let me play music when I was writing and doing my homework. Now, years later, it’s interesting to me that researchers have found that a certain level of background noise actually does improve and inspire creative thinking. There’s even a website that provides background noise.
According to the NYTimes and published in The Journal of Consumer Research, “a level of ambient noise typical of a bustling coffee shop or a television playing in a living room, about 70 decibels, enhances performance compared with the relative quiet of 50 decibels.” It’s important to note though that this only applies to creative thinking. In other words, if you are proofreading or doing a task that requires your full concentration, complete silence may still serve you better.
However, when it comes to creative thinking and coming up with innovative ideas, a little background noise can boost your creativity right along. If you don’t want to work in a coffee shop, but you want the noise, a new website called coffitivity will provide it for you. Just hop on over there (link below), click the button and turn up the volume on your speakers. You’ll feel like you are working in a coffee shop, sans the coffee shop.
That NYTimes article goes on to talk about how the color in your laptop’s background screen can also affect your creative thinking. It has suggestions for different colors based on the task you are working on. If you are interested in this, I recommend reading that full article. In the meantime, I’m happy I figured out this noise thing when I was a little kid. Yay.
Background Noise Can Increase Your Creative Thinking
(click over to coffitivity to get your own background noise)