Thursday, 18 November 2010

Multitasking vs singletasking

I can't multi-task, I keep trying, but it just doesn't work for me.

When I multi-task, I can't concentrate properly and fidget. I end up multitasking every time when: I hadn't planned my tasks ahead and when tasks are put on my desk in front of me against my will.

If, on the other hand I decide in advance what I ought to be doing in time free from outside input (or at least reduced input), then time disappears and I'm in the zone (or flow). It only happens when I'm doing one thing only.

Therefore for me at least, the challenge is not in concentrating, but in planning ahead single tasks and allowing time for them.

What I do these days is plan my mornings (outside input free zone), and try to limit the 2 - 2.5h sessions to one to three related tasks max. This way I have a feeling that I know what I'm doing, I know where to start, and when my job is done with full accountability.

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