YOU'RE BACK at the office. How are you supposed to get any work done? There are in-person meetings and intractable video calls clogging your calendar. Your commute has eaten the hour you once used to corral your inbox. And everyone wants to say hi. There's this slow drip of half-baked conversations. ‘Do you have a minute?' 'Do you have a minute? 'Do you have a minute?'
The problem is when we're just using our brain it looks like we're not doing anything. You need a signal that tells your colleagues: 'Really, I'm working.' Close the door if you have one, put on headphones, attach a flag to your cubicle and flip it up when you're heads-down on a project.