This year I discovered an invaluable tool that has helped me become a more effective writer.
Like many freelancers, I’m surrounded by distractions. It’s often hard to stay focused on writing throughout the day.
Enter binaural beats for writing.
A binaural beat is an imaginary frequency made up by the brain when two tones of similar frequencies play simultaneously.
Listening to these beats, also known as brain waves, has consistently helped me move past any lack of motivation and into a state of productivity.
This hack is particularly useful for newer writers who haven’t yet found their groove. Still, sometimes even the most experienced writers need help concentrating.
No one is immune to writer’s block, but this can be a great way to get past it.
Binaural Beats: Science That Works for Writing
Let’s say 410 Hz play into your left ear, and 400 Hz play into your right ear. Your brain then produces that difference of 10 Hz.
This phantom beat is the binaural beat, and it can safely manipulate and stimulate your brain.
Binaural beats have different names, depending on their range of frequency. There are five in total, but two are ideal for writers:
- Alpha – 8 to 12 Hz
- Beta – 12 to 30 Hz
Although the phenomenon was discovered in the 1830s, studies are still being done to understand the effects of these brain waves.
Most research on binaural beats has focused on the positive effects on mood and anxiety relief. This alone could be useful for writers prone to stress or worried about deadlines.
However, a 2017 study from the Journal of Engineering shows that hearing a 15 Hz frequency during a memory-based performance task can increase accuracy.
It’s also worth noting that different people vary in sensitivity to the beats, with some brains perceiving them better than others.
The Music of Becoming a Better Writer
I’ve found a range of benefits from listening to binaural beats:
- Getting in the right state of mind for productive work
- Filtering out distracting noise
- Developing good writing habits
- Enhancing creativity
- Managing time while batching work
Alpha beats in particular can make you feel present and focused.
I find they are good for research and learning or for creative, free-flowing writing.
Beta beats can make you feel productive, engaged, and energized.
I like listening to these binaural beats for technical writing and when I need to be efficient.
Pick a Mood, Pick Your Beat
There are different binaural beats for everything, depending on the type of work you’re doing and the state of mind you hope to be in.
If you think listening to beats alone would drive you crazy, don’t worry. There are a range of tracks with soothing background music, including thunderstorm and rain-forest sounds.
If you’re writing something you’re passionate about and want to enhance your natural creativity, look no further than this binaural beat track on YouTube. It cycles through alpha, beta, and theta frequencies to increase creative thinking and visualization.
If you’re nearing a deadline and struggling to concentrate, you can try this 14 Hz beta waves music intended for memory and concentration.
Binaural beats are also useful if you’re a fan of batching your work. Because many tracks are exactly one hour, you can commit to working for that length of time before moving on.
You can download tracks at many different websites, or you can simply search for binaural beats on YouTube to find more.
It’s recommended that you use earphones or headphones for the best results.
What More Proof Do You Need?
Although there’s not enough scientific evidence to confirm the effects of binaural beats, what I know is my own experience.
Whether it’s all a mind trick or a placebo effect, listening to these frequencies has undoubtedly improved my focus and productivity.
They aren’t magic, but as someone who is easily distracted, I find that they sometimes feel that way.
Like having a designated work space, listening to binaural beats can help you settle into your writing groove faster and more easily.
And since a huge variety of binaural beat tracks are available for free, there’s nothing to lose by trying them out for yourself.