Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When I considered resolutions and what to work on this year, one main goal came to mind: to minimize multitasking. I'm really not that good at doing multiple things at the same time. And the more multitasking I do, the more I notice my brain losing its edge. I find I can't settle down with a book for an afternoon. I can't eat a meal without hopping up to take care of something else. I can't watch TV without a magazine in my lap. I can't stay focused at work and lose track of what I am doing. I stop mid-chore to start another.

For me, this must change.

Research is reflecting that multitasking is not that great. Here is an excellent article. As you can see from my prior post, my thoughts are already an overlapping pile of data, and it's driving me nuts. So in the quest for a calmer brain, and a sharper brain, I'm working on solotasking. I'm working on what is in this moment. I'm trying to immerse myself in information, not surf it. I'm focusing on doing one task well, reading one book thoroughly, leaving the email unanswered for now.

Do you have any tips for breaking the multitasking habit?

1 comment:

Dave said...

My own anti-multitasking tool is reprioritization.

I often find that the reason I multitask is because I don't care about the task at hand as much as I would need to in order to focus on it 100%. That is a hit to me that there might be a way to spend my time that is more valuable to me. So I stop and check my priorities. Usually I realize something, sometimes a higher priority and sometimes not, but almost always something that changes my attitude towards what I'm doing.

Just now I was eating my lunch while writing this reply. I was enjoying myself but the subject matter made me stop and reevaluate. I realized that the sauce Tomoko put on my tofu was mind-blowingly delicious, so I put down the keyboard and gave lunch my full attention. I'm glad I did! Score one for Solotasking!