Today’s workplace is more noisy and distracting than ever before. If you want to get ahead and produce great outcomes, you need to create some quiet time. But that’s often harder than it sounds.
More and more of us work in an open office environment. That means privacy is at a premium. There is often nothing more than a computer screen to separate you from other people. In fact, being able to reach out and touch someone without standing up is becoming the norm.
With all these distractions and interactions, it can be challenging to focus on your work. Just sitting in a high traffic area (lots of people walking by you) can be very damaging to your productivity.
So how can you thrive while working in such a distracting environment?
Here are 4 suggestions to help you stay on track:
1. Put on Your Headphones
You might be surprised at how powerful wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds can be. Many people will avoid interrupting you and come back at a later time. And if you really want to up your need for privacy, wear your phone’s headset once and a while. No one has to know that you’re not actually on a call!
2. Find a Private Room for Short Periods
Most offices have several meeting rooms for employees to collaborate with others. But this doesn’t mean that you have to use them with someone else. Book a small meeting room for 1-2 hours at a time and take advantage of the peace and quiet. Of course you don’t want to rob your co-workers of space that can be used for team meetings and real collaboration. But chances are there is a meeting room in your office that is being underutilized.
3. Arrive at the Office Earlier
Try showing up for work an hour early and you may never go back. People who arrive at the office early are often amazed at how much more they can do. With so few interruptions, an early start can be great motivation for the rest of your day. It will also leave you feeling less guilty when you have a non-work related conversation with a colleague later in the day.
4. Work from Home One Day per Week
If you don’t currently work remotely part of the time, it’s worth having the conversation with your boss. By explaining the real benefits of the request – to be more productive – many managers are willing to let their employees work from home one day a week. And if you are able to gain this privilege, be sure to make the most of your time when you do work from home. Chances are that if you can show you’re increased output and performance, you may be able to negotiate extra days to work remotely.
Question: Which of the four suggestions will you start to implement? Leave your answer in the comments below.