Ask LH: How Can I Get My Boss To Let Me Wear Headphones At Work?

Dear Lifehacker, I work in an open office environment, and I’d really like to put on my headphones and focus to some music while I work. I’m worried my coworker or boss might think I’m isolating myself, or not being a “team player” though. How can I explain I’m trying to be productive without coming off like I’m being defensive?

These Free Productivity Planners Help You Focus And Stay Organised

Most planners are designed for those who have a systematic work schedule. Productive Flourishing has made free planners for creative people and others who don’t fit the normal 8-5 model of work.

'Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable'

The US Navy SEALs have a saying: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” If you can be comfortable being uncomfortable, you’ll be prepared to handle any situation that comes along in your own life.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask Dumb Questions -- It Can Keep You Focused

Arguments and disagreements in the workplace are all but impossible to avoid. Strategy and business coach Lauren Bacon suggests that asking “dumb” questions can help move things forward.

Dayboard Uses Chrome's New Tab Page To Keep You Focused On Your To-Dos

Chrome: Dayboard is a Chrome extension that turns every new tab page into a minimal to-do list that keeps you focused on the most important things on your agenda for the day. You choose the five most important things on your to-do list, and Dayboard makes sure they’re front and centre.

NowDoThis Sets A Timer For Your To-Do List, One Task At A Time

There’s no shortage of to-do list apps and services out there. What NowDoThis excels at is eliminating the clutter and keeping you on track. Enter your to-do list at the start of the day, include a duration if you wish and hit Start. NowDoThis takes it from there.

The Zone Isn't Some 'Magical, Random State'

The zone. We understand it as a state where one is at optimal productivity and/or creativity. For some it’s elusive, for others all it takes is the right environment to get going. And while it’s beneficial, the mere act of trying to enter into the zone could be the very activity preventing you from breaching it.

Deal With Interruptions As Soon As They Arrive To Boost Focus

We’ve always said you shouldn’t check email too often and that even a three-second distraction can be hazardous for productivity. Leo Widrich, cofounder of Buffer, disagrees and has found it useful to heed Zen Habits’ author Leo Babauta’s mantra for interruptions: “Deal with it only once.”

Get A Bigger Mental Boost From Drinking Coffee By Timing It With Naps

Caffeine is a wonderful tool to combat our natural energy swings during the day. However, we get less and less of the cognitive benefits of drinking coffee over time, thanks to caffeine tolerance. One strategy for maximum focus is to switch up your coffee routine and combine it with the restorative powers of a nap.

Limitless Tracks How Productive You Are Online, Motivates You To Focus

Chrome: How productive are you, really, when you’re online? Unless you track your time, you might not really know. Limitless is a new extension that not only tracks your browsing habits, it also inspires you to complete your goals.