Constant multitasking

Multitasking is a proven method for getting little done. It wastes time by slowing your progress down on every individual task.

  • On your computer, fill every pixel of space with as many windows and tabs, all related to different tasks. Then switch between those tabs and tasks as often as possible.
  • Use notifications to pull you away from your focus. Use it on as many applications and services as possible.

Focusing on one task may make you actually complete it. It might give you the momentum to accomplishing another task. This can be avoided by multitasking.

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How to burn yourself out

It is easy to constantly be burnt out while also accomplishing very little.

It takes years of practice. You have to build up habits where the line between work and time-wasting is practically blurred. You have to lack self-awareness and refrain from reflecting on your own shortcomings.

One study suggests that working out improves both productivity and satisfaction.

Staying in your chair and moving as little as possible is a sure way to feel exhausted at the end of the day.

A direct way to exhaust yourself:

  • You start your day with a general, vague sense of your priorities.
  • To prevent yourself from making progress, you don't write your tasks down anywhere. Then you can remember a particular task while busy with another, briefly panic, and doing it all over a few minutes later.
  • You don't make a list or schedule a time for any task. This could make the list of tasks feel manageable, and might also lead you to start one task at a time. You want to feel vaguely overwhelmed at all times.

To help you get nothing done while feeling exhausted, don't take breaks during unplanned work. Keep struggling.

Do tasks that don't directly accomplish anything. Email and Slack are great for this because neither are directly productive or relaxing. Check Twitter or read the news to get a general sense of anger or anxiety.

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RELATED IDEAS

  1. Make a to-do list specific and reasonable about your tasks as possible.
  2. Make a plan
  3. Prioritize and do triage.
  4. Set goals
  5. Be mindful of your effectiveness.
  6. Keep your tools and materials organized

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IDEAS

Task switching

Many of the multitasking warnings actually refer to the concept of “task switching.” It refers to switching your attention from one thing to another. 

Frequently flipping back and forth between different to-dos, is bad. It depletes your mental resources, wastes time, and will leave you feeling spread too thin.

Switching between tasks

Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools.

In fact, most people average only 3 minutes on any given task before switching to something else (and only 2 minutes on a digital tool before moving on).

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