Innovation Inspiration #008—Turn Off The Radio

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No, I don’t mean turn the volume down or hit mute (which isn’t always a mute; sometimes it’s a mislabeled attenuator button that lets just a wee bit bleed through).


Part of the time while you’re driving.

The entire time you’re sleeping.

Sometimes it provides stimulation for your thinking process, but at other times it’s sensory overload.

Why? Because we don’t sleep as well when there is audible language going on. (I know this empirically, from falling asleep with the radio or TV on way to often, but there is a little bit of research to back me up.)

And a good solid sleep is critical to the thinking process.

But even when you’re awake, your mind is basically forced to process language it hears, preventing you from using your full facilities for creativity.

And when you do turn the radio back on, try to spend time listening to each of the major categories—full-time news, talk radio (the kind where you can hear an average listener call in), commentary/interview (yes, I mean NPR), music with lyrics, but most importantly, music without lyrics. I don’t care if it’s Jazz, classical, or New Age—just something that will relax your brain without making it process language.

Author: Peter Sheerin

Peter Sheerin is best known for the decade he spent as the Technical Editor of CADENCE magazine, where he was the acknowledged expert in Computer-Aided Design hardware and software. He has a long-standing passion for improving usability of software, hardware, and everyday objects that is always interwoven in his articles. Peter is available for freelance technical writing and product reviews, and is exploring career opportunities in interaction design. His pet personal project is exploring the best ways to harmonize visual, tactile, and audible symbols for improving the effectiveness of alerting systems.

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