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Drop the Noise

I’m reading Tim Ferriss’ “The Four Hour Work Week” (FHWW) right now, and it’s got me thinking about (among other things) clearing a lot of the “noise” out of my day.

I don’t need to work for 8 hours solid.  None of us can do that, anyway…we need our breaks and distractions. The problem is that distractions are uncontrolled and random.  If you’ve seen our webshow, you know that Sean and I are as distractable as hyperactive chihuahuas. (SQUIRREL!)

A few ideas – largely cribbed from FHWW – for removing the noise from a day, in order to get to the productive work and quality slacking off that should mak up our workdays:

Turn off email notification. Check it two or three times a day, total.  If there’s an emergency, they’ll likely call anyway.

Limit phone calls - a common tactic to shortcut long winded callers is the very polite “How can I be of help here?”  Or if you prefer Sean’s slightly blunt method, “Bottom line this for me.”

Avoid meetings like they’re full of virus-laden toddlers.  These are time wasters and distracters of the worst degree.

Wear headphones to discourage chitchatters.  Sprinkle your interactions libearlly with “Let me get back to you after this” and a gesture at the computer screen.

Let’s face it – Twitter should probably go on hold if you’re actually trying to get something done. Remember that it’s a prime tool for quality slacking off time.

Prioritize. Seriously, is THIS (whatever “this” is) the best thing you could be doing with your time?

Also feel free to announce your state of mind to the world. For your convenience, I made up a handy sign for you to print and hang up, or use as desktop wallpaper (click for full size):

Happy days,
Jen McCown


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