I recently watched a TED talk by Jason Fried of 37 Signals entitled Why Work Doesn’t Get Done at Work. The message was right on: The office has become a place of endless distraction; so much so that people seek anywhere but there to get their real work done. What happens is the real work ends up getting handled at home, on the weekends, super-early in the morning or days off.
Office distractions are almost an institution in the workplace. They can come in the form of impromptu meetings, Sharon from accounting stopping by your cube to clarify your latest expense report, or a buddy dropping in to kill some time. It’s endless.
The reality is that we cannot get meaningful work done in 15 or 20 minute increments, and office distractions regularly put us in that position. We must allow space for our minds to create the stuff that matters; we can’t command that to happen at a moment’s notice. Sometimes it can take the first hour just for the juices to start flowing, and then the last thing anyone wants to do (especially your boss) is interrupt that flow. Because once it’s gone, no one knows when it will return.
But it happens constantly. These tiny interruptions keep us from doing what matters. Well, I have a few suggestions that can work wonders in reclaiming our best work. In a word it comes down to focus (something deeply covered in 11 Steps to Insane Focus).
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