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October 29, 2014

Bring On the Beast!

By now you know I’m not just about getting things done, but prioritizing the right things to do and then protecting your time accordingly. I recently wrote about some teacher time protection strategies over here at Edutopia – and it turned out to be quite a controversial post!

But what about you non-teachers – non-profit folks, district employees, or school operations team members? And what about if you work in an OPEN office situation? It is incredibly hard to protect your time without coming across like a disgruntled DMV employee to your colleagues – which no one wants.

Natalie Hernandez, a district leader with Houston Independent Schools, wrote in with a GREAT – and humorous – solution! Bring on Beast Mode!

Natalie describes the origins of Beast Mode:

“We have open seating in our office, and while collaboration has increased, an unintended consequence was disrespect for individual work needs. This led to consistent interruptions, loss of work time, and frustration.”

Sound familiar? I thought so.

Check out the solution below, a clear and humorous visual to let your colleagues know when you are cranking and cannot be interrupted:

Beast Mode FlagAnd Natalie’s team didn’t stop there! They created a shared definition of Beast Mode, discussed how to honor it, and committed to some rules for remaining available. Natalie says her team of 20 really honors Beast Mode. As a result, they are getting more good work done!

Beast Mode Norms
Click to enlarge

Thanks, Natalie, and your team at HISD, for sharing this effective trick for getting focused time back in our work lives!

Who’s gonna put Beast Mode in play in their own open office setting?

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