QuickTip: Sequestering – It's Not Just For Juries!

Want to know the best way to eliminate the interruptions that bombard you each day?  Simple:  Remove yourself from that environment.  It’s what I call sequestering.

Sequestering is what happens to juries when they aren’t physically present in the courtroom listening to the evidence during a trial.  They are secreted away and not allowed to communicate with the outside world.  This is done to prevent any influences other than the evidence from affecting their judgment.

In the world of productivity, the same concept can be applied to increase productivity.  The idea is to sequester yourself – go somewhere where the outside world cannot “influence” (or negatively affect) your productivity.  Where to go is pretty easy – somewhere that people can’t easily find you.  For example, go to a conference room or an empty office.  Go to the local library if it’s close or a small caucus room if your office has one.  The main objective is to secret yourself away from the normal hubbub of the office so you can focus on the things that need your attention right now.

What’s the length of time you can sequester yourself?  It varies depending on your workload and position.  The more you control your schedule, the longer you can be sequestered.  Regardless, the best way to make the most of this behavior is to do it for relatively short periods of time, e.g., one- or two-hour blocks.  Also, take only one or two things that need to get done and work solely on those items.  When you’re done with them, go back to your regular workspace.

Finally, keep your sequestering efforts as discrete as possible.  The whole idea is that no one knows how to find you during these periods.  When asked where you were, simply tell people you were taking care of business!

Go forth and produce!

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