As I get older, I’ve been finding it harder to focus on tasks. I’ve never been one for “deep focus” if the activity is not on my checklist of intense interests. Unfortunately, work tends to not be on that list.

In the past I have listened to music to try to eliminate distractions around me. This generally works, but over the past few years I’ve noticed that anything with lyrics in the music tends to be a distraction as well. I blame this on listening intently to the words, a habit learned since becoming a pilot, where I’m always listening to my call sign from Air Traffic Control.

There’s a part of me that wonders if this increased struggle with maintaining focus at work has something to do with my couple of rounds of COVID since 2020. I know most of the world believes COVID was a hit ‘n run sort of thing, where we got vaccinated, and if we feel recovered from it we were just as we were before we contracted it. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I know that I’ve never been able to shake off a certain amount of brain fog since my experiences of having COVID.

I have found that listening to soundscapes like thunderstorms or even brown noise has done wonders for my focus at work. Luckily, I’m in a position that lets me enjoy such a thing. I alternate between my Apple AirPod Pros and my Bose noise canceling over-the-ear headphones.

Today I discovered an app, via the Apple Store Story page, called Portal (link to the Apple App store). A beautifully designed app, not only is it a joy to use, but it provides gorgeous imagery to go along with the amazing soundscapes. Here I am enjoying the sights and sounds of a waterfall in Iceland.

At $49.99/year (or $250 for a lifetime) it’s a bit on the pricey side. I just started the seven day free trial today. So far in the past hour I’ve knocked out more work than I’ve knocked it in the previous three.

Peace of mind and feeling grounded through better focus might be worth that price of admission.