Imagine you are a developer working on some ultra important project and your deadline is just around the corner. You need to focus but you can't. How's that? Is there not enough coffee in your blood? Or maybe it's just lack of sleep kicking in? No, it's three most common mistakes you make.
If you work in open space you need to compromise. More people you are working with, more compromises you need to make and more things you need to deal with. Let's start with music. There are people that like to listen loud music. What's worst they can't use headphones (why? because they can't...). So you are forced to listening some crap pouring from someone's speakers. What about outfit? Well, women like to walk in high heels. If in your modern open space you have wooden floors you will hear every single step. We can't forget about loud coworkers who like to start they day with another boring story. And they do it extremely loud with a lot of laughter. On top of that we have smelly food, perfumes, phone calls, air conditioning, meetings and so on.
If people you work with are easy going you can explain what bothers you and maybe you can work out common issues. If you work with assholes you should change your job.
Worst thing you can do? Place your phone next to your workstation. You work on some piece of code, you almost have it and all of the sudden phone starts to ring, you get new tweet, text message or any other annoying notification. Your focus is ruined so you decide to turn off sounds. Does it work? Of course not. Your phone buzzes and blinks killing rest of your focus. But that's not all. All apps you have installed on your computer are equally harmful. All these tweets, Facebook status updates, emails, issue tracker notifications and basically all that moves, blinks and make noises.
What can you do? First turn off your phone or turn off sounds and put is away that you cannot see it. Next disable all desktop apps that can interrupt you. And most important - give yourself some time to check pending notifications. There's nothing worse than thinking all the time if there is an important message waiting for you.
You cannot work on multiple tasks at once and if you think you can you are mistaken. Multiple monitors are very helpful when you need to use browser's developer tools to track issues with your front end project or to run debugger, trace logs or any other work that requires "live feed" or a lot of space. But when you need to write code, turn off additional monitors. You won't write code in more than one window at once and you won't get sun tan. And if you need to check the manual just open it in another window. You don't need additional monitor for this.
Now you know it. Three simple ways you destroy your productivity. Try change those and you will see improvement in no time.