Organisation and Productivity Personal Development

5 Tactile Activities To Help You Focus When Listening To Audio Content

AD | This is a collaborative post but all opinions are honest and my own.

I love listening to audio content online. There are so many great podcasts, audiobooks, online courses and audio-based YouTube videos that are educational and/or entertaining. The problem is, I find it hard to just sit and listen to audio without getting fidgety and easily distracted. Can you relate to this?

Perhaps counterintuitively, I find it so much easier to focus on listening to audio when I am doing something else at the same time. Not something that requires much mental energy and focus, because I need that for listening to the audio, but something visual or tactile that stimulates my other senses whilst my ears are otherwise engaged.

This blog post will outline 5 tactile activities to keep your hands and eyes busy while you are listening to audio. If you have trouble concentrating, I recommend trying out a few of these activities next time you are listening to audio content, to see which ones help you focus without distracting you.

5 Tactile Activities To Help You Focus When Listening To Audio Content

1. Sewing

Sewing is a great way to keep your hands busy whilst listening to audio content, whether you are creating a beautiful item or simply mending holes in your clothes! The latter can be a boring task so why not get some mending done while you are listening to audio. Other similar activities you could do include cross-stitch, needle felting and embroidery.

Bright pink fabric and various sewing tools. A woman's hands are shown, holding the fabric with one hand and picking up a pin with the other.
Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

2. Knitting

In a similar vein, knitting is a great tactile activity to do while you are listening to something. Personally, I cannot knit very well! I’ve tried it but it wasn’t very successful, so I need a lot more practice. However, I know that once you’ve got the hang of knitting, you can fall into a rhythm and your hands will work on autopilot while you focus on listening.

3. Playing online games

My favourite type of online games are puzzles and logic games, and those also happen to be great games to play while listening to audio content. When it comes to games, anything that doesn’t take much mental concentration and doesn’t involve time pressure will be ideal. is a great place to find games of all different genres. These are some of my favourites that I’ve tried:

3D Super Snake Classic – were you addicted to the snake game when you were younger? I definitely was. Now you can play it in 3D!

3D snake game in progress on

Red Rope – you have to connect a rope to the other red peg, making sure it touches all the white pegs on the way.

Blocky Puzzle Game – this is similar to Tetris, but you have to fit the pieces into a shaped grid.

Level 50 of the 'Blocky Puzzle Game' on

All of these games are great for keeping your senses stimulated while listening to audio content in the background (Tip: If the game has sound, you might want to turn it off so it doesn’t distract you). It is also a great excuse to play games whilst doing something educational and productive at the same time!

4. Jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are such a relaxing way to engage your senses whilst listening to audio content. It’s so satisfying to see the picture gradually come together! I personally prefer doing real, physical jigsaw puzzles, but if you don’t have any (or the space!) you can also find online jigsaw puzzles on

An online jigsaw puzzle featuring a ginger and white cat.

5. Colouring

Colouring is a relaxing, mindful activity that almost anyone can do with no skill required. It doesn’t take much mental energy so you can dedicate that to your audio content whilst keeping your hands and eyes busy. If you don’t have a colouring book, you can do colouring online or simply doodle on plain paper.

How do you focus when listening to audio content?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it’s given you some ideas that might help you focus when listening to audio content. Many of these activities are productive in themselves so you can feel good that you will be creating something at the same time as absorbing content.

Do you listen better when you are doing something with your hands? Or do you find it easier to concentrate on audio when you are sitting still and doing nothing else? Do let me know in the comments below!

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5 Tactile Activities To Help You Focus When Listening To Audio Content


  1. I love podcasts too, Sophie, been getting into some great ones on the Wondery app.
    I usually listen them when I’m doing chores like vacuuming or making dinner, I hadn’t thought of listening during hobbies. Thanks for the idea, I’ll do this when I’m next sewing or colouring.

    1. Sophie says:

      I haven’t heard of the Wondery app before, I will have to check that out! Great idea to listen while doing chores.

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