Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Just one thing at a time...

Too late I discovered I don't multi-task well. In fact, I can barely monotask. It seems I may not be alone.
Several research reports, both recently published and not yet published, provide evidence of the limits of multitasking. The findings, according to neuroscientists, psychologists and management professors, suggest that many people would be wise to curb their multitasking behavior when working in an office, studying or driving a car.

These experts have some basic advice. Check e-mail messages once an hour, at most. Listening to soothing background music while studying may improve concentration. But other distractions — most songs with lyrics, instant messaging, television shows — hamper performance. Driving while talking on a cellphone, even with a hands-free headset, is a bad idea.

In short, the answer appears to lie in managing the technology, instead of merely yielding to its incessant tug. [More]

Multi-tasking also has the effect of "time-deepening" - making it seem more time has elapsed that actually has. This is why Americans feel overworked even when working normal hours.

Ya know, the old work ethic could use a re-examination, I think.

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