EarPods: Focus and Productivity

I’ve been working on OSU’s post-bacc in CS for the last 2 years. Sure, whenever I sit down to work on assignments (or more precisely, programming assignments) I have my MacBook Pro connected to an external monitor. And sure, I also have a mechanical keyboard that’s pleasant to type on. But I feel like what helps me the most to focus and be the most productive would be my wired and old-fashioned EarPods.

What do I listen to? Usually music or sounds that won’t require my attention, but instead could easily become background noise or music. Well, let’s start with sounds. My favorite sounds to listen to would be rain or rain with thunder. But I also listen to wind sounds and other white noise, like fans. However, I usually listen to music the most; mostly video game theme music. I guess playing video games might be very common among CS students, and I am no exception. Yes, I grew up playing games: Nes, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Playstaion and PC. Lastly, I also listen to Movie soundtracks like: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avatar and many more.

Why do I use EarPods? Well, CS programming assignments (or programming in general) could be quite difficult. This difficulty could make you feel anxious and stressed. I feel like listening to something relaxing, familiar or something I have fond memories with, allows me to relax. Once I relax I can get in a better state of mind to tackle the assignments.

I have a confession though. I know noise cancelling headphones are popular, but I just can’t stand them. Not being able to hear the outside world makes me anxious and gives me claustrophobic feelings. Plus, my wife is usually around with the kids and I need to know I can hear her in case she’s calling me. So yeah, I just prefer regular wired non-noise cancelling EarPods.

I’ll be done with the post-bacc program in about a month and half. Maybe, I’ll get a job as a programmer and I’ll continue using EarPods at work. Or maybe I’ll take a different path; I don’t know. But what I do know, is that using EarPods really helped me focus and be more productive in the last 2 years while getting trough this program.

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