Monday, June 23, 2008

Myth of Multi-Tasking

This article, published in The New Atlantis, discusses a subject of personal interest to me, multi-tasking. It's not a difficult read at all, but I challenge all to read the short piece entirely from start to finish without checking email, watching TV, or cognitively multi-tasking in some way. For me, it was difficult! I'm grateful for another reminder of the overwhelming evidence demonstrating that multi-tasked or distracted work is greatly reduced in quality and productivity versus the work we product when fully engaged and focused.

So as a result, top 3 things I'll do today to enhance my focus and limit my distractions:

1. Limit email checking to once per hour (Far more than the 2x Day that Tim Ferriss recommends, but a big improvement over the 5-6x an hour that I can accomplish, unfettered.)
2. Schedule news/RSS reading to a specific time, 2x Day once in am, once in pm.
3. Prohibit cognitive multi-media and personal distractions from the work area (background podcasts, TV broadcasts, talkative co-workers, kids, spouses).

Not easy tasks for me to enforce!