My brother spent time in Tokyo and he told me the most surprising cultural difference in that city and Boston? Noise. Part of what we love about Bostonians is their exuberance. Walk through the streets of Beantown and hear loud conversations, bursts of laughter, elaborate ringtones and bass beats pumping from cars passing by. We are surrounded, almost constantly, by a virtual symphony of sound.
While I don’t live in the city, somehow the noise still finds its way into my neighborhood and into my house. On a typical day, I’ll have my daughter plopped on the couch catching up on her favorite television show and my son practicing his rock star guitar riffs, when my neighbor decides to take a chainsaw to the dead tree in his front yard. All while I’m trying to work.
While I can handle a certain level of noise, I need silence when I’m on the phone especially with a client, in order to stay focused. Here are some tools I found helpful when combating the noise distractions:
· Schedule. I plan to work on tasks that require my full attention at times when the house is at its quietest.
· Close the door. I let everyone know that if my door is closed, it means “Do Not Disturb”.
· Find alternative locations. When there’s too much going on and I really need to focus, I go to the library or a quiet corner of a café.
Discover the tool that fits for you and give your next task its proper focus and attention.