A friend mentioned that her (big) company recently has added Instant Messaging to their IT system. She says, “now, while I’m on the phone, or in a meeting, in addition to having to check emails, I have these IM’s popping up at me.” WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!!!!???!!!!
A study by Microsoft found that it takes an employee an average of 15 minutes to return their attention back to the previous task when distracted by email, instant message, etc.
I know, you think you are special and while you can accept that multi-tasking doesn’t work for everyone else, you can still manage it. I suspect that you can’t. [Also understand that there is a difference between multi-tasking and a white-noise activity. Some people need to doodle, color, play solitaire, etc. to stay focused.]
The secret about multi-tasking? The secret is that you can’t multi-task. The brain can only do one thing at a time. You may a fast “task-switcher,” which means you can move from task to task quickly, but the brain is only capable of holding one thought process at a time! Bummer.
What can you do to get more done? Try these tips for a week – then assess: