My office is a difficult place for me to get work done during the week. 9 of us share a space. Between the battle over whether to keep the glaring, buzzing fluorescent lights on or off, the very warm temperature, phone calls, random chit chat, TAs having their office hours, people coming by to ask questions, buzzing phones, microwave use, etc, etc, etc, I am constantly distracted.
But on the weekends1, my office is wonderful. My office is pretty high up and my desk faces a window. I can see a bit of ocean and forest and a whole lot of sky. I open the window to cool the room down to a comfortable temperature. I turn on a small lamp instead of the awful lights. And it’s wonderfully quiet.2
Occasionally, other people come in on the weekends. Luckily they are on my side in the lights battle, and they’re quiet since undergrads can’t get in the building to beg for more credit on the last homework.
Of course, the depth of focus my office affords me on the weekend does have some drawbacks. Whenever one of my officemates says something to me, I react a bit like this:
1. I don’t want to give the impression that I work all the time – weekends at the office mean a lot of half days during the week.
2. Oddly enough, my other super productive environment is a coffeeshop. I’m still sensitive about the light and temperature, but the noise and movement doesn’t bother me there. I think it actually helps me focus. I don’t know why.