Workplace distractions are nothing new, but if you can't seem to find time to do some serious distraction-free work for any significant chunk of time, consider time blocking an appointment with yourself.
Over at business site Fast Company, our own Gina Trapani continues her Work Smart video series with a great piece on Time Blocking (embedded above). Recounting the days when she worked as a low-on-the-totem-poll programmer in a distraction-heavy office, Gina remembers:
It got so bad that when I was on deadline, I'd book hour-long meetings in a conference room where I was the only attendee. I'd put the meeting in my calendar a day or two ahead of time so that I showed up as "busy" in Outlook. When the time came, I'd steal off to the conference room with my laptop to work uninterrupted. When I confessed to another programmer that I was holding fake meetings with myself just to get work done, he asked if he could join me—under the condition that we would not distract one another. I got the most work done in the shortest amount of time during those blocks.
Ever try something similar, or have your own methods for carving out distraction-free blocks of work time? Let's hear your tips in the comments.
Work Smart: Avoid Office Distractions With Time Blocking [Fast Company via Smarterware]