Ever since I discovered research by Chabris and Simon on the ineffectiveness of multitasking, I’ve been like a dog with a bone on uncovering its harmful effects. According to the infographic The Perils of Multitasking by OnlineCollege.org, there are numerous studies that have explored the detriments of trying to do more than one thing at a time.
The segment on work productivity caught my eye. Wow, really? Like losing a full night’s sleep? That’s not productive.
Tip for regaining your focus:
When I used to work in a busy corporate office, I would proactively block off my Outlook/Lotus notes calendar (at least one time a week) with a “meeting” with myself. I would schedule a conference room for this meeting, and invest that time doing “heads down” work. If someone sent me a meeting request during that time, I’d most often say, “I’m sorry, I’m booked at that time.” (Of course, common sense dictates: if the company president sent me an invite, then my “meeting” got rescheduled.)
If you don’t give yourself permission to create focus, who will?