Noise vs focus

My new desk at work has very bad feng shui. In other words – it’s noisy, faces the wall and makes it almost impossible to focus. The constant buzz from the air ducts above our heads never stops. Not sure how previous tenants dealt with the situation, but I can’t last more than a few hours there.

For now I’m camping out in one of the former offices that has not yet been claimed as a conference room. And I hope I never have to leave (except for walks outside and lunches).

And it got me thinking (because my thinking is no longer interrupted) about noise. Living in the city like New York by default means dealing with noise. We have subway not only undeground but sometimes above our heads, constant flow of traffic and people, crowded streets and apartment buildings with lots of neighbors. So to keep your sanity, sometimes you have to block out all the noise and find or create some quietness.

Clutter is another kind of noise, created by physical objects around you. That’s why I’m a big fan of decluttering and not owning lots of physical stuff, because it weighs you down and lessens your ability to focus.

Same with people. Instead of trying to keep up with never-ending streams of chatter on Facebook and other “social” places, I think it is better to maintain few high quality, real-life, authentic relationships with people who truly enrich your life.

I like how in the winter after a big snowstorm, everything is muffled when you step out into the street. Snow covers all with whiteness, quiet and peace. So I wish all of us take some time this winter, and reduce all kinds of noise in our lives.

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