As I was perusing one of the blogs I read, I came across a link to a very helpful article.  This gentleman has adopted as one of his mottos the phrase, “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”  I have heard this before, but this time it really made me start thinking. I am always so hesitant to ask people things because I don’t want to inconvenience them or I don’t want anything to be awkward–even if I don’t know the person I am asking and will most likely never see them again.

I also started thinking about how this might relate to you. How could you use this to help yourself be less distracted by your coworkers and more able to focus? I thought of a few ways.

  • Tell your boss you are having difficulty concentrating due to all the conversational distraction and ask for help in this area. You could mention how beneficial sound masking has been in other places. Perhaps your boss didn’t even realize how big of a problem it is.
  • Nicely ask your coworkers to please not disturb you. This could be done in person or with a sign on your cubicle or on the front of your desk. A funny sign can get the point across without being offensive. (Passive-aggressiveness pays off sometimes!) Perhaps your coworkers don’t know that their constant chatter is really bothering you.
  • Are there other things keeping your from being able to concentrate besides your noisy coworkers? Sometimes changing the way your desk is set up so that it is more ergonomically correct can help to get rid of all those aches you get from sitting in front of a computer all day. Its hard to concentrate when your shoulders are killing you. You might want to ask your boss for a better chair or a different keyboard to help with this.

So, what is keeping you from a less stressful and more productive day? It might be just a simple question to the right person.

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