Posts Tagged ‘multitasking’

Quote of the day: MULTITASKING

February 9, 2023

We used to multitask, and then research came out and said you can’t literally multitask. Your brain can’t have your inbox open next to the memo you’re writing while you’re also on the phone. So everyone, in the first decade of the 2000s, said: I turned off my notifications. I do one thing at a time. But what we didn’t realize is that even when you jump over to check the inbox and come right back, it can be just as damaging as multitasking. When you looked at that email inbox for 15 seconds, you initiated a cascade of cognitive changes. Research has shown that people who work on multiple things concurrently are less able to filter out irrelevancy, have poorer memory and are more easily distracted. So if you have to work on something that’s cognitively demanding, the rule has to be zero context shifts during that period. Treat it like a dentist appointment. You can’t check your email when you’re having a cavity filled. You have to see it that way.

–Cal Newport, interviewed by David Marchese for the New York Times Magazine

photo by Mamadi Doumbouya

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