When we’re focused on something, the left and right sides of your prefrontal cortex work together. But when we multitask, our prefrontal cortex has to split to accommodate the extra cognitive load.
It feels like you’re doing two things at once, but the reality is that’s not how our brains work. You’re really just switching between the two sides of your prefrontal cortex. And remember, that “switching cost ” can cost you a whopping 40% of your productive time.
The truth is that we can only do two things at once when the cognitive load for at least one activity is low.
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Mute notifications on your phone and desktop and set an alarm for a specific time to check your email, Slack, and other applications. Interruptions happen, but it’s impossible to get into a flow state when you get interrupted every 5 minutes.
Try to batch communication and set expectations...
Diving into a massive list every morning won’t work. It’s too easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and pretty soon you’ll find ways to distract yourself. Instead of trying to “do all the things”, add a step between listing everything you have to do and
It’s hard to stop multitasking. We’re rewarded for being busy (or at least looking busy). And it’s easy to think, “I’m getting so much done!” when you have a bunch of windows open on your screen.
But doing one thing at a time is often the simplest and most effective ways to boost ...
The simple answer is that we’re addicted to it. Thanks to sweet, sweet dopamine, our brains are overachievers (and a little bit lazy). We just looove the idea of doing two things at once, even if it makes us worse at both of them.
Productivity tools can be a double-edged sword. They enable us to do more work, but it’s easy to get lost in the customization and multitasking features, notifications, and endless menus.
Use the software to your advantage. Install a website blocker, like
Dopamine is often called the “reward” chemical because of how it makes us feel. When we “do something right”, like completing a task, we get a hit of dopamine, and it makes us want to do that thing again.
And that’s the problem. Because our brains don’t really care what we do. Dopa...
It’s a badge of honor to be always available. It’s uncomfortable to say “no” if one of your coworkers wants to “hop on a quick call.” You’d rather stop what you’re doing than seem like you’re too busy. Even if you’re in the middle of an important task.
51.5% of workers in a
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When we multitask, we’re putting tremendous stress on our brains as we flit backward and forwards between different tasks.
Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness.
If you try to learn everything at once, you’ll waste too much time switching between activities and become frustrated with your lack of progress.
These days, many people proudly call themselves “multitaskers”. However, studies have shown that only 2% of people can actually multitas...
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