Robo-composed music to help you focus

Music has long been understood to have remarkable impact on mood and cognitive functioning - hence fun fads like expecting mom's playing classical for their unborn children. And for me, moving from open office to open office, customizing my auditory environment has become an integral part of the focused work experience. Over the years I've tried playing all sorts of things, from white noise to movie sound tracks. Finally, I think I've found the ticket to getting on the right wavelength: brain.fm.

Brain.fm was dreamt up as a music writing software that has designed dozens of tracks to guide your brain into one of three states you select from: focus, meditation, and sleep.

Brain.fm leverages emergent technology to create patterns of beats that get you in the right frame of mind

Brain.fm leverages emergent technology to create patterns of beats that get you in the right frame of mind

Listening in, I hear binaural beats overlaid on soft melodies, which induce a deep state of engagement. While I haven't hooked myself up to an electroencephalogram to measure efficacy, I'm sure the pros behind it are testing this out.

The focus option does the trick to blur out all distraction and leave you to think deeply. The first few sessions are free, so give it a try - you'll thank yourself for it later when you see how well you're using your time!

 

The Church of Deep Work

I have uncovered a mythical place, a place rumored of and nearly forgotten by the throws of modern life. It is a somber house, full of reverent heads bowed with devout focus over their written works, towards which their hearts turn. I walked in, uncertain of whether to speak. "May I help you?" the lady behind the booth asked. Slanting the volume of my voice downward, I reply, "The three last issues of Wired magazine, please."

The 42nd Street New York Public Library has the reverent quiet of the singularly purposed

The 42nd Street New York Public Library has the reverent quiet of the singularly purposed

Yes, it was the New York Public Library. The silence hits you like a wall when you enter an archive or a reading room. There is a shared agreement and understanding: all come to work, to thrive upon the focus in the air, which each new devotee adds to.

I can almost imagine benefactor Samuel Tilden standing upon the steps of the 5th Avenue entrance, declaring in the lantern light: "Give us your addled, your burdened, your distracted masses who yearn to focus freely!"

Patience the lion greets and guards the 5th Avenue entrance to the New York Public Library

Patience the lion greets and guards the 5th Avenue entrance to the New York Public Library

The entrance to the Church of Deep Work is narrow - because of the bag check security - and it's followers may be few, but I see a revolution coming! Robopocaplyse? No, it's the fleet of knowledge workers striding singularly, together, on their independent, intertwining journeys.

Hats off to Patience and Fortitude for guarding the way for newspaper-readers, writers, and researchers alike to find their place in the stacks.