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Recent studies suggest that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and helps be more adaptive in the workplace. A 2013 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, based on a survey of 43,000 workers, concluded that the disadvantages of noise and distraction associated with open office plans reduced productivity. We also know that workplace noise and interruptions can cause stress and even be bad for our health.
For many nonprofit professionals, interactions with colleagues in meetings or informally can be very productive, but various interruptions by colleagues can not only be an obstacle to productivity, but also cause stress.
One method for individuals is to schedule “power hours” by putting your planning/quiet time in your calendar and focusing on a key task such as a weekly review. Another method is finding a “Shultz Hour” where you carve an hour before or after work for silent reflection, or maybe a Shultz ten minutes by closing your office door.