There are, broadly, four productivity-sappers in the average office environment:
- Online distractions
- Offline distractions
- Email wrangling
Here’s what I do to counteract these:
- Use ‘location-based chunking’ of stuff I’ve got to do. In other words, I sit in different places (my desk, conference table, sofa, beanbag, other room) depending on what I’m doing.
- Turn the music up in those headphones.
- Be disciplined. I don’t send an email unless I have to. Any more than two replies within an hour means picking up the phone. I limit myself to five sentences.
- Try to manouvere myself into a situation where I can call time without annoying anybody. I try to couch my language in terms of positive forward steps, having at the back of my mind Seth Godin’s call to STOP.