Thursday, December 4, 2014

High Cost of Multitasking, 4

So what can one do to break free of the multitasking trap? First, teach yourself to recognize when you are trying to multitask. Awareness is the first step on the continuum of positive growth. Stop, look, and listen. If you’re in the habit of trying to do three or six or nine things at a time, rapidly alternating shifts of attention from one to another, stop. Breathe. Attempting to stop multitasking can be a challenge, especially if you’ve done it for years. Sometimes it may be necessary, but at other times, set priorities and reduce distractions—for example, jumping to get every email as soon as it arrives. Email can be very distracting and, as you try to multitask, the reply you write may be inaccurate or phrased in an unhelpful way and because you’re in a hurry you hit “send” and then it’s too late to take it back. Set a schedule for reading and deleting. Maybe 20 minutes first thing in the morning, another 20 minutes right before or after lunch, and again in the afternoon or evening. If it’s life and death, you’ll likely get a call on your mobile anyway . . . More tomorrow.

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