Working in a loud and busy environment can be energising, however for some it may be distracting and cause a reduction in productivity. If you are in a loud workplace on a day to day basis, try the following tips to stay on task:
1. Listen to music. Many people find that wearing headphones and listening to music helps them to focus on their work. You might want to pick a favourite band or artist, but you need to make sure that you won’t in turn get distracted by the music you are listening to! Purely instrumental music often works well, as it has no lyrics. Think about acoustic guitar, piano or classical music. You could buy a small MP3 player, download music or stream it live.
2. Listen to nature sounds. If music is too distracting, look for natural sounds to block out external noise. Rain, whales, birds and so on can be calming and really help you to focus. Your brain recognises natural sounds easily and registers them as ‘background noise’ preventing them from distracting you.
3. Use noise-cancelling headphones. If you can’t stand any noise at all, reach for a pair of these. Though beware, your colleagues may throw objects at you in order to get your attention! Make sure you phone has a light on it that shows when it rings, otherwise you could miss a lot of business by doing this!
4. Set yourself small tasks. Noisy environments can make it impossible to concentrate on big jobs. Break tasks down into more manageable ‘chunks’, which take around 20 minutes or less to do.
5. Use lists and diaries. Write things down and have lists to hand to keep you on track. Ticking things off as you go makes you feel very smug, and using small ‘chunks’ as mentioned above means you get to do it more often! Use bright coloured sticky notes and stick them on your desk or computer screen to keep you on task.