Thursday, June 17, 2010

In-Office Writers: How Do You Tune Out the Noise?

A recent post on the Ragan site (unfortunately no longer available) delved into a noisome challenge that many writers face: between the hum of the xerox machine, the resounding ring of phones, and whispered chatter from the water cooler, how are you supposed to write? For the in-house communicators among us, tuning out those weapons of mass distraction can be a pain — and often a productivity drain.  We thought it would be interesting to ask our writer friends how they've dealt with this...

1) I would borrow offices of executives who were out for the day--with permission. 2) There's usually a conference room not in use (the more out of the way, the better). 3) Use whiteboard to let people know not to interrupt unless urgent. 4) Go to another floor and find space there. 5) Work-at-home writing days.
         -- Cindy Spitz, President, CLS Communications

I started writing professionally at the Urban League where not only were there a million distractions, but I didn't even have a computer assigned to me. I had to walk around with a pile of papers and beg for access to someone else's computer. Fortunately my concentration is so intense I can work in a war zone and not notice anything but what I am thinking and doing. When my success as a grant writer earned me a leadership position I received my own office and a new computer. It was sweet. Now I freelance with a workspace designed for my needs. I do occasionally find myself out in the field and revert to intense focus mode. I'm glad it is rare. It is much nicer working in peace.                          -- Jeff Lischin, grant writer and consultant

1 comment:

Laura said...

This topic comes up a lot in my office, and people have gone so far as to demand offices, dividers and all manner of other costly and high-maintenance fixes. I find this amusing, considering that one can buy a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones and use them anywhere. Not only do they eliminate noise, but they also serve as a prime deterrant for those people who tend to walk into your workspace and strike up a conversation when you are most busy.