Staying Focused

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715979

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Staying Focused

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75192

    I've got an advantage in an open plan office in that I'm deaf. Remove my hearing aids and unnecessary distractions vanish.

    I print out my calendar for the day and quit from outlook, teams, slack, flowdock for two hour chunks. If it is urgent my colleagues come and speak to me. I think face to face communication is massively underrated. Technology that should bring us closer together somehow doesn't.

    Working out what dependencies I have or maybe helps because I can prioritize those to give myself larger blocks of time.

    The problem with Slack and similar software is that it tempts us to join in with online conversations that we don't necessarily need to participate in

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125020

    I work in an open office plan, but we also have plenty of meeting rooms and secluded work spaces for when a fellow needs to focus.

    Also, it's easier to get into the creative zone when we have clear requirements, so it helps to do some research and organization in preparation for periods of actual production work. If you allow these steps in the creative process (requirements gathering, research, coding) to overlap or intermix, then neither gets done.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715979

    When I'm in the Redgate office, we have an open plan. I either wear headphones, which sometimes work, or go find a small cube. We have a few available for concentrated work.

    No matter what, people can come disturb you, though I find in an open office they are more likely to do so. I love having a private office because I leave the door open if I'm ok with a quick question. If I'm working, I close it and tell people only knock for emergencies.

     

  • Rod at work

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 33144

    For me, it is a mixed bag. Over the last few years I've gotten much better making notes of my progress either in Word, OneNote or even sticky notes taped to my monitor. Its cut my time to get into the grove by 50%.

    On the other hand, my work environment isn't conducive to focusing upon a problem. I work in a large room, cube farm, with a lot of PC techs and IT support. Ad hoc meetings occur around me all the time. People on their phones answering users calls all the time. Everyone is doing their jobs, but boy is it distracting.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994701

    I work best in an environment that has a constant background noise like a 20" box fan (good source of the right tone of "pink" noise for me) to drown out any spurious background noise and voices.  In the office, I actually dial up a YouTube of such a fan playing for 8 hours and wear a headset.  I also like a darker environment, which I can't get in the office.  Sunglasses don't seem to provide the same effect because they also change the way the screen looks.  Might try wearing a baseball cap to help cut the light from overhead.

    A private office would probably help with the noise and certainly the lighting but it won't help with the electronic drive-by shootings (email, Skype, AND Teams!!!), all of which I'm required to respond to almost immediately because I'm the only DBA for the company.  I wish that some people would just come to my desk instead of trying to have lengthy conversations electronically.  They take 10 times longer instead of talking face to face and then summarizing what was said or needs to be done in an email later.  Having a private office would probably make the electronic drive-by shootings even worse especially since I'd keep the door closed and the lights too low for most people's comfort.

    At one company I worked at, this one guy would send me a ton of PMs and Emails.  The idiot sat right next to me and could see me over the short divider between us.  I finally got to the point where I told him I wasn't going to answer his emails and that I blocked him from my PM system.  We got a whole lot more done both apart and together that way.

    I'd love to have time to really focus on stuff especially when I'm writing PoP code, testing it, and getting it ready for production.  That's why I've offset my hours.  That's why I usually from home until noon and tell people to call me if there's an emergency.  It's "focus" time.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
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  • jonathan.crawford

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6357

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rstb.2017.0239 - Open offices actually make people chat and email more. counter-productive.

    Also Jeff, youtube has some great "slow tv" videos of train rides through Europe, India, Australia, etc. I enjoy those instead of just the fan noise, although I have used that too.

     

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  • Beatrix Kiddo

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 32384

    For me if somebody interrupts me when I'm concentrating hard, it's like coming back from underwater. Context-switching is hard under the circumstances. When it's really bad I put my Skype on Do Not Disturb but I don't do it too much because I think people should be able to get hold of me on the whole if needed.

    I'm very lucky where I work, in that we can work from home as needed, and very occasionally I work completely offline if I've needed to do some serious thinking about a project. (I don't work in a support role ; obviously that wouldn't work if I did.) In the office it's common to wear headphones too, which I appreciate because I've worked in places where they were totally banned, and that really sucked.

    I don't find open-plan offices as stressful as I used to, so I assume we all adapt eventually!

  • Rod at work

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 33144

    jonathan.crawford wrote:

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rstb.2017.0239 - Open offices actually make people chat and email more. counter-productive.

    Also Jeff, youtube has some great "slow tv" videos of train rides through Europe, India, Australia, etc. I enjoy those instead of just the fan noise, although I have used that too.

    I don't know. From my own experience, it depends largely upon the people in the open space. I've worked in an open space environment, before it was called "open space". It wasn't a good experience. One guy was quiet and did his work. The lady in our group would only talk when she needed to ask a question or answer one. But the third guy was a constant stream-of-consciousness talker. Other open spaces have been better, but that's only because there wasn't someone there who felt they needed to fill the empty space with his/her voice.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Rod at work.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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