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Quit Multitasking: 8 Ways to Get More Done


Multitasking is necessary and extremely beneficial at times and you might even be praised by your boss for doing it at work. But the truth is, dividing your attention among multiple things may prevent you from allocating the time and attention that is necessary to do an excellent job, and it can make you more susceptible to errors. It also consumes more time and energy than one might think.

The human brain doesn’t really multitask, what the human brain does is “Time-sharing.

Time-sharing works like this: Your brain can only actively think about one task at a time, so you focus on one task, then another takes its place, just like vacationers occupying a timeshare property. The shift is so fast you don’t even notice that you’re only doing one thing at once.

The following are a few tips on how to get more done:

1. Schedule time to unitask: You’ll likely spend a majority of your day multitasking, but if you know you have an important memo to write or a big decision to make, schedule time on your calendar to devote all of your attention to that one task.

2. Allocate a specific amount of time: “There’s something scary about having to focus, but if you give yourself a set amount of time, like 10 minutes, it might make it less scary for some people, It’s not always feasible to spend hours or an entire day on one task, but if it requires that much time and attention, and is that significant, then you should try. Determine an amount of time you want to unitask, and follow through,

3. Choose the right time of day to unitask: “Don’t decide to do during the busiest time, like the first hour of the workday. Pick a time when you’ll have the fewest distractions, or work on it over the weekend. Sometimes you can accomplish a task that might take you the entire workday to do, in an hour on a Sunday

4. Close your door if you have an office: You shouldn’t do this too frequently, or else you may appear isolated or incapable of dealing with any distractions, But if you do it occasionally, when you really need to focus on something for 15 minutes or an hour, your colleagues will probably be respectful and understanding.

5. If you don’t have an office and you’re in an open work space, like a cubicle, ask your colleagues to give you some time to focus on the task at hand by putting up a sign on your cube, sending out an e-mail, or verbally informing them of the situation. Again, you shouldn’t make a habit of this, as you don’t want your co-workers to think you’re unreachable or unapproachable. “You don’t have to announce it to the whole world, Only tell those who really need to know, like the colleague who sits next to you or the one you’re working on a project with.

6. If you stay at work, clear your desk. If it’s messy and you happen to catch a glimpse of some paperwork or a post-it note with a reminder, you might be tempted to focus some of your attention on those things, as well.

7. Disconnect! This one is extremely difficult for most workers, and might not even be possible for some—but if you can, turn off your e-mail, phones, computer, etc., while you’re unitasking.

8. If you can’t disconnect completely, at least silence your devices and disable notifications. “There are websites you can visit that allow you to turn off your Internet for a period of time,“If you find that you’re constantly distracted by the Internet, this might be a good solution for you.” You can also set your phone to go directly to voicemail or set up an auto-reply on your e-mail to let people know when you’ll be available again, and how they can reach you or a colleague in the case of an emergency.


Source: Forbes

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell