How to create the perfect work environment? In our first article, we talked about the various techniques to reduce electronic distractions and in-person distractions.
How to Create The Perfect Work Environment?
In this article, we’re going to focus in on some proven methods of establishing the perfect work environment, even when your real work environment is less than perfect.
The perfect workplace imagined
There is no major overhaul or construction necessary in order to create the perfect workplace. Whenever you get distracted it’s your mind and your concentration that is affected the most. Therefore your workplace should be conducive to a place where your mind can focus, ponder, and imagine. It should be a place where your mind can relax and work.
To follow are some key strategies for creating the ideal workspace catered specifically to your mind:
Manage Frequent Interruptions – If where you are, you have a frequent thing or person distracting and interrupting you, deal with that issue directly. Remove the thing that is the distraction or talk with the person who is your interruption. Much of the time, people who interrupt all the time, don’t even realize they’re doing it and causing issues for other people.
Extroverts love to be in conversation with the people they surround themselves with on a daily basis. They usually don’t mind interruptions that come at them, because that’s how they think. However, as with anything, what works for one doesn’t always work for others. If there is an issue with a person interrupting you while you’re trying to work, you need to tell them.
Control the Noise – In general, most people can tune out low-level noises to where they are no longer a distraction.
Of course, there are some noises that are more annoying than others. If there is a noise that bothers you and causes you to break your focus and concentration, you need to find a solution to either eliminate that noise at the source, or do something on your end so that the noise can continue, but you won’t be distracted by it:
Wear Earplugs and Headphones – Foam and silicone earplugs are available – usually at any drug store – and can effectively diminish noise levels to almost nothing if you wear them correctly.
In addition, there are noise-canceling headphones on the market that also effectively block out environmental noises.
White Noise – White noise is useful for some people for canceling out other distracting noises in the environment.
There are actually audio clips or music files online that are specifically of white noise. You can download most for free and set them to a looped playback so you won’t have to deal with any other distracting noise in the background.
Relocate – There are some instances where earplugs and headphones cannot successfully block out the louder distracting environmental noises. At that point, it is a good idea to see if you can relocate to another space. Better to remove yourself from the distracting environment than to try and work in the midst of it.
Don’t Overdo Breaks – Taking a break sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? We all appreciate a break after a session of hard work and concentration. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. You can take too many breaks. Then you’ll end up spending more time on a break than you do working. Schedule your breaks just as you schedule your daily tasks. A good place to put a break is after accomplishing a major task or milestone.
In theory, this may sound complicated, but it’s really not. When you are planning out your day, make sure you set up a few milestones to hit for the day. Then schedule small breaks in between them. When in the course of the day, you have accomplished a milestone and checked it off your list, go ahead and take a break.
When you have completed more than 70% of the work you set out to do for that day, you can take a longer break if you wish. Or you can continue to take shorter breaks and then take a long break after completing a task fully. Make it work for you. The important thing is that you are not allowing yourself the opportunity to get stressed out because you are getting your work done, but you’re also taking the time to rest.
Modify Your Schedule – Sometimes distractions come up no matter how hard you try to dissuade them. A more extreme measure for avoiding distractions is to actually shift your schedule around so that the possibility of distraction is greatly diminished. For example, you may find it easier to work after everyone has gone to sleep for the night or if you’re at the office, a time when no one will be around to interrupt you.
Don’t Be Too Negative – Distractions will always be there and so it’s important that manage our work and our environment so that distractions and interruptions do not derail us from completing our task.
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Whenever a co-worker or colleague comes by for a chat, utilize that time to review what you should be working on and completing. Don’t respond to the interruption negatively, instead turn it into something positive.