Your office is noisy; that’s not news to you. Sometimes the goings-on are pretty amusing, or at least interesting. Most of the time, though, it’s frustrating to feel surrounded by needless noise. It’s frustrating because it’s so dang distracting. The average worker are distracted about 2 hours a day. Sure, some of that distraction is internet-related, but actually quite a bit of it is conversational…thus, the loss of productivity. That many interruptions is costly- not only do you lose the time of the interruption, you also lose your train of thought and even your place on your screen.
2 Tips for Avoiding Distraction at Work
As a result, most workers say that all they want is distraction-free solo work. More than amusing office antics, workers want the time and quiet to just work. Thus, time blocking may be a good tool for you.
- Time Block. Time blocking has become all the rage, from individuals to collaborators to work-at-homers. The premise is to intentionally set aside specific time for specific projects or tasks. Nothing interrupts that time. Thus, it’s important to set parameters, such as a start and stop time, as well as bans on cell phones and social media during that time. Some companies, like IBM, have seen time blocking evolve to be “quiet” time in which everyone plays the quiet game for optimal productivity and minimal distraction.
Time blocking isn’t reasonable or realistic all day, though. Phone calls are part and parcel of a working office. So, while a great resource, time blocking is not the sole solution for boosting productivity. Another great tool is white noise.
- White noise machines. Office noise is a tricky problem because you can’t eradicate it, and you can’t ignore it. While IBM might enjoy quiet time, some struggle to keep their attention on work when it’s uber-quiet. Thus, adding noise can actually be just as helpful. White noise covers office noise so that workers can relax and quit listening for the other shoe to drop. By using white noise, you cover office distractions, and it’s at your fingertips to use when you please.
Half the battle of reclaiming lost time at work is having a game plan. By time blocking and covering noise, you allow your brains much needed-time to process and recalibrate.