This temptation to multitask has only gotten worse in the work-from-home era. But there are ways to fight it.
When cell phones and multi-threaded operating systems went into wide use, we saw a rise in multitasking that made people less productive. Suddenly, there was a constant temptation to switch away from one task (say, writing an article like this one) to another (say, checking on emails that may have come in over the last couple of . . . hold on . . . okay, I’m back . . . where was I?).
In addition, we became so used to switching from one task to another that even if we shut off other programs on the computer and put the phone away, our brains still interrupted us to suggest that we ought to be doing something else right about now.
This temptation has only gotten worse in the work-from-home era. Chances are, you’re working alone in a room, so there is nobody around to prevent you from doomscrolling or flipping away from one task to another. In addition, while there’s strong social pressure to avoid checking emails and texts during an in-person meeting, it has become commonplace for people to be doing several other things during a Zoom meeting. Indeed, in many meetings, there is a shadow text thread going on that virtually requires you to multitask throughout.
As a result, you may find it harder than ever to pay attention to the task at hand. Your brain may try to derail your train of thought several times a minute with an invitation to do something else. So, what can you do to keep your mind from wandering off task? ***THERE’S MORE***