You work solo, loading complex problems into your head and working them out from there.
Henry David Thoreau. He wanted to reduce life to its barest essentials and, in his isolation, found something universal.
Your isolation might be great for your productivity, but it can be hell on your team or clients. Kellogg professor Leigh Thompson says that the lone wolf should start the day doing her own work but emerge to the campfire around noon or 1 p.m. offering the group a satisfied, "This is as far as I got, and now I need some feedback."
Deep-focused work requires lone-wolf privacy. So save your shallow-focused work—such as email and calendaring—for more public, social places, such as your open office.
"Fifteen minutes of face-to-face time with someone on the team could make their day," says Thompson. "Colleagues eventually need feedback. People feel connected when they're in the presence of others—our whole physiology responds."
[Illustration by Francesco Muzzi]