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In Defense Of Multitasking: How To Do It The Right Way

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.

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In Defense Of Multitasking: How To Do It The Right Way

In Defense Of Multitasking: How To Do It The Right Way

https://blog.trello.com/why-multitasking-is-good-for-you

blog.trello.com

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Key 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.

Multitasking can have some merit

While you’ve likely heard that it’s physically impossible to do two things at once, that rule really only applies to tasks that require the same cognitive resources. If you can find ways to combine two tasks that are different enough - like listening to an educational podcast while making your commute, practicing for a presentation while getting your miles in on the treadmill, or brainstorming article ideas while doing the dishes - multitasking can actually serve to your benefit.

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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 di...

Task switching and focus

Taking on additional tasks simultaneously can destroy up to 80% of your productive time:

  • Focusing on one task at a time = 100% of your productive time available.
  • Juggling two tasks at a time = 40% of your productive time for each and 20% lost to context switching.
  • Juggling three tasks at a time = 20% of your productive time for each and 40% lost to context switching.
A schedule for sustained attention
It includes:
  • Large chunks of focused “flow” time for more demanding projects.
  • “Themed” days to reduce the need to recalibrate between different tasks.
  • Advanced planning so you can prioritize meaningful work.
  • Realistic time set aside for admin, communication, and meetings.
  • Clear expectations for your teammates so they know when not to interrupt you.

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Bad habits

Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

They slow you down, decrease your accuracy, make you less creative, and stifle your performance.

Impulsively surfing the internet

It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into flow, a state of increased productivity.

Click in and out of your work enough times to check the news of social media, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.

Perfectionism

We freeze up when it’s time to get started because we know that our ideas aren’t perfect and what we produce might not be any good.

But you can never produce something great if you don't get started and give your ideas time to evolve.

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