This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
One way I limit distractions is by limiting disruptive noise. I have three options:
- Go somewhere quiet.
- Wear noise-canceling headphones.
- Drown out the environment with white, pink, or brown noise1.
Now, everyone is different, but I prefer to go somewhere quiet because noise-canceling headphones give me a headache. And regular headphones bother my ears after extended use.
Since Covid-19 began, I’ve worked from my home office fulltime. When my kids get rowdy (they’re on summer break), I close my door and turn on a bit of music.
Take action: Find a quiet place to work. If that’s not an option, experiment with noise-canceling headphones or different colors of noise2.
Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
Practices: Just Say No
- Just say No
- Stop Looking For Drama
- Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
- Make an “I won’t do” list
Practices: Say Yes
- Track your distractions
- Stay focused with a To Do list
- Make a “Big Rock” list
- Follow the 2-minute rule
- Try the Pomodoro Technique
- Make a list of questions
Practices: Control Your Physical Environment
- Find your Den of Productivity
- Eliminate distracting belongings
- Limit disruptive noise
- Listen to music
- Silence your phone
Practices: Control Your Digital Environment
- Close your email
- Leave social media
- Close your browser tabs
- Limit distractions from Slack
- Try an app blocker
Practices: Get Organized
What do books say about distraction free work?
“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”