Multitasking with electronic media, the type we often do at work, makes us more stupid than smoking pot or losing a night’s sleep. It does not simply come at the mental price of lost productivity, but it actively damages our brains. Furthermore, multitasking in social settings is indicative of low emotional intelligence (EQ), a potent predictor of success.
Having put the myth of multitasking to rest, the alternative is total undivided attention a.k.a. mindfulness at work. As, William James, the great 19-century psychologist and attention expert wrote:
“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will.”
As a big believer in simplicity, I believe that a handful of simple interventions will yield major results in curing multitasking.
Above all, I invite you to at least try one of these and see for yourselves what is the impact. I am confident that as soon as you begin to eliminate multitasking from your daily life at work you will discover:
Think of it as taking a backward step - returning to what is totally natural to you - but perhaps veiled because of conditioning and prevailing norms.
Among the good quotes about attention, I think one goes to the heart of the matter...
"Life is short. Pay attention or you'll miss it." Anonymous