Not all freelancers work best in complete silence. Many of us are happy to work to the sound of our favourite music in the background, for instance – I’m quite partial to a bit of Coldplay myself.
However, there are some sounds that don’t do much for the concentration.
Let There Be Lawnmowers
The sun shines one delicate little ray on your desk. You hold your breath and count to twenty, and… yep, there’s the sound of the quickest mover, who shot to the shed and had the mover out on the lawn before you could say. ‘Oh no, I bet this will bring all the lawnmowers out.’ Suddenly, everyone who lives within hearing distance has retired on the spot or been spookily accurate with their weather forecasting and taken the day off – just so that they could come out, en masse, and mow. Before you know it, strimmers and hedge trimmers are added to the cacophony too. Don’t these people realise you’re trying to work??
Let Battle Commence
They’re fine now, although they were vomiting everywhere yesterday. Or perhaps their teachers are have a training day, and school is closed. Oh, goody. Of course, by ‘they’ I mean Children, who have the uncanny habit of playing quietly and serenely while you’re doing simple tasks, but start screaming, fighting or painting the settee with that white gloss they found, the minute you’re on the phone or deep in thought. Alternatively, if they’re older, then this is the point where your house may suddenly be invaded by a horde of 6ft tall, deep voiced youths who have ‘just popped round’ but are apparently in danger of starving to death if they don’t have pizza, which your freezer sadly lacks. An hour later, you realise the reason you can’t download that vital document is because they are all now downstairs using your Wi-Fi…
Doomed by DIY
Your neighbour hasn’t told you they’re going to be featured on Grand Designs, Amazing Spaces or any similar programme, but you’re convinced this must be the case. It’s the only explanation for the constant noise caused by their DIY or the succession of trades people who turn up in their vans every day. You begin to wonder if there is one single thing about their house that’s the same as it was when they moved in. Surely there can be nothing left to drill, hit, saw or sand?
Ring, Ring, Why Don’t You Give Me a Call
No, actually, why don’t they save that terribly non-urgent call for the evening or the weekend. Because whether you have a remote handset that you can move to wherever you’re working or one that you have to get up and walk to, those unnecessary phone calls interrupt your working day and can ruin your concentration. And the chances are that if you were working in a shop, office or factory, Uncle Malcom wouldn’t dream of phoning you at 11 am to tell you about the funny thing Tiddles and Mr Flluffkins did to Mr. Smith’s rhododendrons yesterday. As for ringing your mobile… please. You’re at work! That means only work-related or urgent phone calls are welcome.
Are these noisy interruptions aggravating for you too, or do you have other bugbears? Perhaps you have particularly needy pets. Go on, share your grievances! A problem shared…