For years I’ve been studying self-improvement books and articles, finding extra useful information, storing it and not applying it, only to find that same source years later and get excited again :) Yeah it’s fun, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me: not very progressive. Recently I began to intensify those researches, and everything started to connect, and to seem like the path was the right way (have you ever experienced the feeling that your path lights up as you walk, like something is guiding or following you? It’s a great feeling, if you didn’t feel it yet, I hope you will). Facts started to connect and form new conclusions, and here it is, my first blogpost on self-help! :)
1. First fact
There are already many blogposts about Cal Newport’s book “Deep work” and I won’t go into details, you can find several posts online, but it’s always best that you read the actual book. I will just list the excerpts necessary for my conclusion:
- in order to be happy, you must stretch your mind (or body) to it’s limits.
- it’s usually at work that you are in a position to stretch your mind’s limits
- for that, you need to focus deeply on your work
- when you practice to focus, myelin (fat tissue around your neurons) thickens and reinforces that connections
2. Second fact
Open spaces are popular. Even if you don’t have to work in an open space, it you’re not a C-level manager, you share your office with at least a couple of other colleagues. Then you have multitude of sounds: people with headphones listen to music and unconciously tap their fingers or toes, some are in love with their mechanical keyboards, phones are ringing, notifications arriving, squeaky mouse scrolls, doors slamming, people talking to themselves, talking loud about work related and even more not-work-related stuff, and we didn’t even mention direct intrusions: calls, messages, IMs, talking directly to you.
Obvious connection between 1. and 2.
What do we get? Constant noises! And the company usually expects you to deal with it, focus in spite of it, ignore it… while it should be completely the other way (a)round – to create the work environment where it’s rude to create noises and where people respect focus of others. Ok it’s not popular to rant about it, I know.
Amazing hidden scientific connection I discovered
One day I started to google office noises (induced by having two colleagues munching cookies from a paper bag = munching x paper x crunchy cookies => they hit my auditory tolerance overload! :) ) and found out about a new word: Misophonia. You can google it, but the interesting fact is that people with thicker myelin are more prone to it!!! Wow! So if you practice, and learn to focus -> you get thicker myelin -> you are even more sensitive to office noise!
Does anyone need more proof than this, that we need to isolate expensive intellectual workforce, and create a good work conditions for them? Does any company have money to throw away on distracted programmers who effectively can work only 1-2 hours a day, vs remote programmers who choose their own best conditions to concentrate? Do I need to proof to anyone that I will be more productive in an isolated space, and produce this work for a lot less time, or a lot more work for official work hours? It’s not even hard to measure, if company realises that it should care about it. And I’m saying that the managers should care, and that it affects: employee satisfaction, productivity, workforce fluctuation, even health.