April. The middle of finals time. Students are scattered across campus as they cram for their exams, actually focus in their study groups and are fueled by caffeine, adrenaline and energy drinks as they type away their final papers for the school year.
Everybody has different study habits – Some people need complete and utter silence. So the workspaces in Frost Library, complete with a beautiful view of the Rose Garden and Don Valley are perfect for them.
Not for everybody, though. Especially not me. I need noise. If I’m in complete silence, I just start thinking too much. So I like getting work done in my room with music playing, or in the breezeway where the chatter and shuffling of students acts as white noise.
But sometimes, even the Breezeway becomes eerily silent as April goes on. So how do I go about creating that atmosphere of gentle noisiness I need to get through my finals?
I love this website. It is a looped track of sounds you hear in a coffee shop – dishes clanging, conversations, people sipping on lattes. When you play this over music, and when you get into the zone, you may actually think you’re in a coffee shop. It’s gotten to the point I’ve actually thought I have recognized some of my friends’ voices in the track. They also recently added different “levels” so you can find the one that suits you.
Gotta love pre-made music playlists. What I enjoy most about Songza is that their ‘Music Concierge’ knows what time and day it is and makes recommendations for types of playlists you should listen to for whatever activity you’re doing. My favourites? ‘Male Singer-Songwriters‘, ‘The Ladies Of Song‘ and for a quick dance break, ‘Walking On Sunshine.‘
3. Rainy Mood
Need to set a little more ambiance to get you into the zone? Rainy Mood simulates rain sounds to provide a calming effect. Perfect for when you start freaking out because you can’t for the life of you, remember how to cite a third-party journal article source in APA that has no author (Protip: Check out OWL Purdue. Or cry. That might help.)
Those are my three favourite productivity websites. If you ever see me sitting at the desk in the Center Of Excellence or in the Breezeway starting at my screen intently, chances are, I have all three of these apps running in the background on my laptop. That or I’m playing 2048.