noisy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14493/all en-US Everyday Noise: The Ignored Pollution? http://www.wisebread.com/everyday-noise-the-ignored-pollution <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everyday-noise-the-ignored-pollution" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wisebread_noisepollution.jpg" alt="Too loud!" title="Too loud!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On your list of simple-living priorities, reducing noise pollution probably doesn&rsquo;t make the top ten &mdash; or even fifteen. I completely understand. Still, I contend that noise is one of those &quot;slow-creep&quot; pollutants &mdash; something that folds and blends into our world so gradually that it goes nearly unnoticed until one day we wake up and realize we&rsquo;re living inside a kazoo that&rsquo;s being played by a sadistic clown. Likewise, I believe noise affects the quality of our daily lives. It can be distressing whether we realize it or not. It breaks our concentration, interrupts our meals, keeps us up too late, and wakes us too early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise">Shhhhh: How to Block Out Noise</a>)</p> <p>Our electronic world is filled with noise, and cell phones are one of the biggest offenders. There&rsquo;s a tone when we have a call, a tone when we&rsquo;ve missed a call, a tone when we&rsquo;ve been left a new voicemail, a tone when we have an old voicemail to retrieve, a tone when we have a text, a tone when we&rsquo;ve sent a text, a tone when we hit each key while typing a text, a tone for each number we hit while dialing, a tone when we turn on the phone, and finally &mdash; a tone when we turn the darned thing off. I realize that most of these audible indicators can be silenced, but who really does that? Go to any restaurant on a Friday night around 6:30, and you&rsquo;ll know exactly what I mean.</p> <p>My new microwave has an alarm that lets me know my when my food is done and another alarm reminds me to retrieve it. The latter distress signal is sounded every 30 seconds until the microwave door is opened. Left unattended, it would continue its &ldquo;bleep-bleep-bleep&rdquo; infinitely in a maddening pattern. It forces this question &mdash; what&rsquo;s the purpose of this audible reminder every 30 seconds? The power is off; there is no imminent danger of fire or overcooking. Does the manufacturer think that, left to my own incompetence, I will permanently forget that I&rsquo;ve cooked something? Are they trying to help me avoid a nasty surprise six months down the road when I open the microwave only to discover a moldy disc of something that used to be Fettuccine Alfredo?</p> <p>Perhaps the best example of this new breed of domestic noise pollution is the leaf blower. Oh, how lovely it is to herald in the autumn with the sound of these gas-powered creatures tending to our lawns. The quiet activity called &ldquo;raking&rdquo; has been replaced by gas fumes, brute horsepower, and the concomitant din that&rsquo;s usually associated with high-risk military maneuvers.</p> <p>Isn&rsquo;t it time to simplify the noise in our lives &mdash; whether that noise is figurative or literal? Isn&rsquo;t it time to seek out and demand new products that don&rsquo;t encroach upon those rarer and rarer silent moments? If we&rsquo;re auditing and editing the things in our lives that we&rsquo;ve outgrown, that no longer work, that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">take up space</a>, and that don&rsquo;t serve a purpose, maybe it&rsquo;s time for an assessment of our audible world too. Let&rsquo;s turn down the volume, silence unnecessary alerts, and reserve alarms for what&rsquo;s truly alarm-worthy. Maybe in a world filled with noise, it&rsquo;s time rake a few leaves or, better yet, enjoy the quiet rustle of just taking a stroll through them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyday-noise-the-ignored-pollution">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise">Shhhhh: How to Block Out Noise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/convert-your-crap-into-cash-without-a-garage-sale">Convert Your Crap Into Cash Without a Garage Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/take-an-imaginary-do-over">Take an Imaginary Do-Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-living-lessons-i-learned-from-hoarders">Simple-Living Lessons I Learned From &quot;Hoarders&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle declutter noisy quiet Fri, 17 Feb 2012 10:48:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 898450 at http://www.wisebread.com Shhhhh: How to Block Out Noise http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/covering_ears.jpg" alt="Boy covering his ears" title="Boy covering his ears" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As I&rsquo;m writing this, the apartment to my left is having its kitchen smashed out with a sledgehammer, the apartment across from me has power tools running with the door open, and in the hallway, a couple of chatty fellows are spraying the ceiling down with something &mdash; pssst, pssst, pssst, talk, talk, talk.</p> <p>I am the last tenant on the fourth floor of an apartment building that is being completely rehabbed, and I have been thinking a lot about quiet recently.</p> <p>See, I work out of my apartment, and having that apartment dropped in the middle of a construction site during working hours isn&rsquo;t exactly conducive to quiet concentration. I have, however, figured out some ways to battle the noise (and researched others that I have yet to try). So if you&rsquo;re looking for a little quiet &mdash; at home, at the office, or while traveling &mdash; I hope these suggestions can help you out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-search-of-silence">In Search of Silence: 4 Ways to Get Peace and Quiet</a>)</p> <h3>Wear Earplugs</h3> <p>I developed a bad habit in college that I haven&rsquo;t been able to completely shake &mdash; wearing earplugs to bed. The good news is that I always have earplugs around, and they&rsquo;re a cheap, easy-to-find (most drug stores have them), and relatively effective method of blocking noise. The downside is that earplugs often don&rsquo;t block noise entirely, they just muffle it.</p> <h3>Listen to Music</h3> <p>If there&rsquo;s one thing I&rsquo;ve learned from stereotypical teenagers on TV, it&rsquo;s that turning up the tunes is a great way to drown out annoying parents (parents who also, most likely<em>, just don&rsquo;t understand</em>). If you&rsquo;re trying to listen to music while working, the key is to find music you can work to. Personally, I can&rsquo;t write to anything with lyrics, so recently I&rsquo;ve been playing <a href="http://www.ratatatmusic.com/">Ratatat</a> and <a href="http://www.prettylightsmusic.com/#/home">Pretty Lights</a> in heavy rotation. Pumping the music directly into your ears with headphones can also be more effective than just playing it in your space.</p> <h3>Use Noise-Canceling Headphones</h3> <p>Of course, even more effective than listening to music through headphones is listening to music through noise-canceling headphones.&nbsp;They can be an investment, running between $100 and $300, but they read ambient noise in your immediate area and create a signal to cancel it out.</p> <h3>Close Your Windows</h3> <p>It's really quite simple, but if you&rsquo;re getting noise from the outside, close your windows. This might mean you need to turn on the heat or AC, so there&rsquo;s definitely a cost involved &mdash; but the white noise from the machines might help block the noise even more.</p> <h3>Pad Your Space</h3> <p>Soft things help suck in noise (that&rsquo;s why you always see foam on the walls of recording studios). So opt for a plush living space instead of one with all hard surfaces &mdash; thick curtains, carpeting, pillows, and other bits of softness can all help dampen sound.</p> <p>Renter&rsquo;s website Tenant.net also recommends <a href="http://www.tenant.net/Rights/Noise/noise3.html">adding a second wall</a> if you can.</p> <h3>Meditate</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re better at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/focus-focus-fowhat-was-i-saying">focusing</a>, it&rsquo;s easier to block out noise.</p> <h3>Ask for the Noise to Stop</h3> <p>If you can, go to the source and ask for the noise to stop or the volume to be reduced. And I&rsquo;m not talking about banging a broom on the ceiling &mdash; ask directly and politely. Moreover, make sure you&rsquo;re asking the right person.&nbsp;Earlier today, I overheard a woman who lives on the floor below me chew out the construction workers for starting so early in the day. While I&rsquo;m not thrilled about it either, it&rsquo;s not their fault that our building management asked them to start banging around at 8 a.m.</p> <h3>Go Somewhere Else</h3> <p>When all else fails, it might just be time to go elsewhere. Sometimes I&rsquo;ll work in a coffee shop (yes, it&rsquo;s quieter than my apartment). At work, you might be able to temporarily move to another space, or even ask your boss for your desk to be moved permanently. But I'm sorry, that baby on the plane is not going anywhere (except your flight's final destination).</p> <p><em>What methods do you use for dealing with noise?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-what-if-you-knew-you-were-going-to-die-question">That &quot;What if you knew you were going to die&quot; question</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself">25 Ways to Take Five Minutes for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking">The Fallacy of Multitasking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/and-did-you-do-it-with-respect">And did you do it with respect?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Productivity noisy quiet stay focused Thu, 11 Aug 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Meg Favreau 659373 at http://www.wisebread.com