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Ear Plugs Were Sent From Heaven


ear plug quiet

I want to tell you about something that has cost me less than $5.00, but has VASTLY improved my life in many ways:

  • ....they help me write way better.
  • ......they make me feel "in my own world."
  • .........they help me concentrate for long periods of time.
  • ............they calm me down on planes.
  • ................they help me sleep much better.

This item is not a drug or one of those hippie magnetic bracelets....

This magical invention is what us mortals know as:









Yup....simple old ear plugs help improve my life, and my writing.

Whenever I write.....I try to "get in my own little world" ...but the distractions of life invariably happen.

The construction going on outside, the hum of the refrigerator, even silence itself has a distracting quality.

But with ear plugs in, I feel like I can talk to my brain directly.

(typing that makes me feel foolish....but you'll see what I mean when you try them).

They eliminate pretty much all external audio input, and it makes for a really great work environment.  It's an odd feeling at first.

You roll the ear plugs into a little cylinder, stick them inside your ears, and let them slowly expand.

As they expand in your ear, you can hear the decibel level of life go


And then you're in your own little world.

A world that's great for writing and for productivity.  And sleeping.

You should definitely try them.  My personal favorite brand are these little blue ones that reduce noise by 33 decibels:


The earplugs REALLY work their magic when I'm feeling lazy.  For some reason the switch from "real world" to "Neville's World" changes my mentality and lets me focus more.


Using Ear Plugs for Meditation:

I'm not super into meditation, but the times I do it, using ear plugs for meditation is a GREAT experience!

It just "softens" all the noise around me and helps me concentrate better, and the results are pretty great :)


I honestly think wearing ear plugs when I write gives me a kind of "superpower" that otherwise doesn't happen:

Ear plug superhero

So......when you start feeling like a lazy monkey today, why don't you try sticking in some earplugs to help you write creatively or be more productive??

Use these "magical ear tools" wisely my friend :-)




By the way....am I the only insane person who uses these??  Every time I go on a rant about how earplugs are sooooo great, people look at me funny and slowly back away like this:


Comment below if you use them so I don't feel insane!


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You are not weird at all, Neville! My noise canceling headphones are crucial to my writing productivity. With them, I can hit my writing groove instantly, anywhere!
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Guest Chris Sanfilippo


I discovered the effectiveness of working with earplugs one day while flying. I noticed that I get 10x as much work done on planes. Since I always wore earplugs, I figured that was part of the equation so when I came home I tested it out and I really liked it. If you really want to work better though, you should try sleeping with earplugs in. You will get an AMAZING nights sleep, and the next day will feel amazing and work better than ever.
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Guest Aaron Zalonis


Love Hearos! Much more comfortable than the expensive Israeli ear plugs I tried. I use them for painting and writing. For additional productivity, I also wear a Kelty head lamp. The feel of it against my head is comforting and helps me get in the zone (I can't afford a mining helmet like I imagine Hunter S. Thompson would wear while writing.)

I've also tried noise-canceling earbuds. The problem is that if you eat almonds with them on, it sounds like you're trapped in your own mouth. Loud and smacky.

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Guest Matt LaPrairie


cool... i do this too, but with earbuds and i listen to a white noise app or music with no lyrics.
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Guest Valerie


Not crazy. I'm partially deaf and can't hear squat without my hearing aids. I like to start the day off in silence and often don't put my 'ears' on for a few hours after I get up. Easier to concentrate, for sure. (Also pretty handy when my kids were little and having tantrums... click. Silence!)
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These are the only way to sleep with loud roommates, on international flights, every city I've visited in India, dorms, etc. I use the bright orange industrial / construction worker plugs, and I have such huge earholes that I have to wear the plugs backwards to get the seal!


P.S. Nice groove on the dueling piano bar at SXSW!

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Guest Maria


OMG! That's hilarious! When I try to zone out they grab me and start poking at me to make sure I'm awake. lol
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Guest Maria


It actually never occurred to me to use them! My 'office' is in the living room next to the window which is outside TWO bus stops (both slightly in front of each other).
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The last time I used ear plugs was at a monster truck rally with my son (every kid should go at least once!) I don't wear them at home or at work though because it is imperitive that I stay alert to my surroundings. I really can't miss a baby crying or a knock on the door... I guess that speaks more to my "free time," "work time," and "home time" connundrum though.
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Um, so Neville asks us in his email to "Comment here if you use earplugs (and how you use them) so I don't feel insane!!"

To lure comments he promises: "(I'll personally send one lucky commenter a pack of my favorite ear plugs)".

Um, do people who already use earplugs need more ear plugs? Don't think so.

So Neville, give the ear plugs to me. I don't think you're insane, but I don't use plugs myself. Give them to me and I'll give them a whirl. In fact I'll run them thru some tests.

I have a short book to write. Just got started in earnest on it over the weekend. In fact, I started it in Scrivener which I purchased on Friday thru the great AppSumo deal. Send the plugs to me and I'll write 2 chapters with and 2 chapters without plugs. And I'll report back here with my results.

And I'll run another couple of tests. I'll take a common typing test, both with and without plugs. For more fun I'll have my 11-year old son do the same. He's just learning how to type. I'd add my wife in on this but she cracked her elbow over the weekend and has her right arm in a sling for a while.

I could also have my Golden take the test but he hates it when you get to close to his ears.


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Guest Robin Brinkler


When DJing with my band..


Because I'm always right next to our bagpiper.

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Guest Michael McGreal


I use them to help sleep (when I'm not using Brainwave Entrainment), or to give my brother epic Wet Willies. Except he can't hear himself so usually screams louder. But since I'm -33db too, it usually events out! Great post Nev, homer make me laugh (in cave man voice).
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Guest Robin


I did use earplugs for a while. It did make me productive. The problem is that when I turn off the sound around me, by brain begins to talk, to sing or to do other weird stuff (I cannot call that thinking).

Last week I turned on a season of Friends on my laptop and worked for 7hours straight while hearing the episodes in the background, without seeing them. I wasn't feeling like I was working : It was all just a big pause! I wrote a 47p booklet last weekend this way, edited it and everything.

I'm doing this every day now and it's working insanely well (except when memorizing something, the only moment where I need complete silence)!

Just try it out with a serie you know by heart (or a film)!



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Actually, I've switched out earplugs for in-ear earbuds coupled with Coffitivity. For some reason, dead silence only helps when doing long mathematical problems but for everything else a little bit of background noise of people I can feel competitive with goes a long way.
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Guest Rob Satori


As a musician, I use them sometimes when db levels get high. Never thought about them being used when writing, although... as I sit here, I have my Bose noise cancelling headphones already on. Thanks Neville. I am glad you mentioned they are not used plugs!
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I really don't use earplugs but i use earphones and listen to soft, classical music and whenever i do this...it's like magic man...

Errthing becomes clearer and i can just focus on what i need to do and get it done...

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Guest MikeBugslayer


I don't use ear plugs, instead I use inear headphones without music. I know that they are not as good as ear plugs but I don't have to face those weird looks ;)
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Guest Randall Friedman


I use earplugs regularly, riding motorcycles and being a musician I can need to wear them for hours. They need to be comfortable. I bought custom formed silicon plugs that fit perfectly to the inside of my ear. Very comfortable. There are numerous versions available so that certain frequencies & volumes that won't hurt your hearing are allowed to pass through the filter without the damaging sounds. I can still hear the detail of the music. They are great on my motorcycle as they cut out the wind noise, and other loud sounds which can wear away on your concentration. You can still hear things going on around you. Well worth the $250.00 It might cost you. If you love to listen to music you can get a moulding that accepts your Shure ear buds.They are awesome they cut out all other noise but allow you to pump in your favorite meditative work groove music. I especially like them on airplanes, no more crying baby or darn I got sat just behind the engines or at the back of the plane.

Needing to REconnect to your Creativity?

Something that will help you get in a creative state is the right background sound. Research shows that the "right mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juice flowing." Coffitivity. They have numerous blends of coffee shop noise There is also a link to the research on their site. I like to put on coffitivity with ambient music from my iTunes. Makes me able to focus more easily. I don't make a penny from these references. I just love spreading the joy.

Last but certainly not least.

If you are not familiar with EFT, the tapping technique. Check it out, it is an amazing breakthrough for emotional relief, numerous good studies available. Release the things that are invading your calm focused state. I have been using it with clients for 13 years. it will change your life. Search for EFT, emotional freedom techniques.

Randall Friedman, RMT

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Guest Derek


Earplugs are great for noisy offices too! In our office, there are over 50+ people on the phone all day so it's super helpful to put one earplug in so you can actually hear the phone.
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Guest Daniel Adolpho Gonzalez


I don't use ear plugs HOWEVER I like to work in silence and sometimes, as you've said, it gets to me. I may look into getting a pair if I don't win one! :)
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Guest Neville


Oh man......you're doing WAY cooler things with your earplugs Aaron!

Even though I like white noise, for some reason I still prefer white noise WITH earplugs on still

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Guest Neville


Lol! I'm the same (sans the butt plug part).

When the earplugs go in, it usually signals my body to sleep pretty quickly

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I'm all about the Bose noise cancelling headphones. Bulky as hell but they work and if I need some sort of sound I can get it. I tend to pipe in ambient noises like water running or wind blowing as it can be too quiet for me!
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