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Monotasking

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Beware of Attention Leaks (The Science of Gaining Focus) Why the modern world is bad for your brain. Our brains are busier than ever before.

Why the modern world is bad for your brain

Deep Work: The Secret to Achieving Peak Productivity. In a world full of digital diversions, how are some people able to achieve a higher level of productivity than others?

Deep Work: The Secret to Achieving Peak Productivity

In the new book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Georgetown University professor Cal Newport demonstrates how you can develop the skills necessary to focus at an optimum level and reach peak productivity. Learning how to do “deep work,” he argues, is among the most valuable skills people can learn, and carries wider implications for economic growth. The Real Reason Technology Destroys Your Attention Span. Need Help Focusing? Think About Two Rabbits. I want to share something really simple (but powerful) with you.

Need Help Focusing? Think About Two Rabbits

It's a little reminder that has saved my butt and helped me truly focus, time and time again. This reminder has helped me with the big-picture stuff (juggling multiple projects and priorities) ... ...and also with the day-to-day and immediate priority stuff (what should I work on now?). Ready for the reminder? Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain. Photo THIS month, many Americans will take time off from work to go on vacation, catch up on household projects and simply be with family and friends.

Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain

And many of us will feel guilty for doing so. The Myth of Multitasking. Christine Rosen In one of the many letters he wrote to his son in the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.”

The Myth of Multitasking

Multi-taskers are Bad At It. Multi-Tasking and it’s Effect on Concentration, Intelligence, and Reasoning. Recently there was an experiment conducted that studied two sets of people. One consisted of individuals who multi-tasked constantly, while the other group rarely engaged in multi-tasking. Both groups were comprised strictly of students attending Stanford University, so it can be assumed that all are of above average intelligence. In order to compare their methods of concentration and managing information, both groups took part in a number of cognitive exercises. When some type of interference surfaced during the test, the individuals who multi-tasked frequently had difficulty maintaining concentration. Monotasking Is The New Multitasking. We all know multitasking is inefficient.

Monotasking Is The New Multitasking

A classic 2007 study of Microsoft workers found that when they responded to email or instant messaging alerts, it took them, on average, nearly 10 minutes to deal with their inboxes or messages, and another 10-15 minutes to really get back into their original tasks. That means that a mere three distractions per hour can preclude you from getting anything else done. The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time - Tony Schwartz.

By Tony Schwartz | 8:53 AM March 14, 2012 Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time - Tony Schwartz

It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time. What we’ve lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition. Wherever we go, our work follows us, on our digital devices, ever insistent and intrusive. Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? How To Waste Time Properly - Issue 7: Waste. Ever since Frederick Winslow Taylor timed the exact number of seconds that Bethlehem Steel workers took to push shovels into a load of iron ore and then draw them out, maximizing time efficiency has been a holy grail of the American workplace.

How To Waste Time Properly - Issue 7: Waste

But psychologists and neuroscientists are showing us the limits of this attitude: Wasting time, they say, can make you more creative. Even seemingly meaningless activities such as watching cat videos on YouTube may help you solve math problems. Brent Coker, who studies online behavior at the University of Melbourne in Australia, found that people who engage in “workplace Internet leisure browsing” are about 9 percent more productive than those who don’t.

Last year, Jonathan Schooler, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara published with his doctoral student Benjamin Baird a study called Inspired by Distraction. The Super Simple Phone Hack That Will Transform Your Productivity. A while back, my cofounder Leo gave me an interesting suggestion: He said I should try disabling all notifications on my iPhone.

The Super Simple Phone Hack That Will Transform Your Productivity

I find this suggestion especially interesting because it is one that goes against the normal phone setup. It’s so usual to stick to how things are, and with iPhone apps the easiest thing to do is to “allow” all those notifications. It seems almost odd to even consider doing things any other way. I chose to go along with Leo’s suggestion, although I was admittedly quite skeptical that it would change much. I imagined that I had pretty good willpower, and that I am fairly productive already.