Saturday, July 08, 2006

Comfortable Chaos or Multitasking- The next great curse

As a student, I want to do a lot of different things at the same time.
I want to improve my concentration, enhance my productivity.

"With the proliferation of wireless devices, e-mail and websites, we've been caught up in a dust storm of information competing for our attention," says Dr. Hallowell, a former professor at Harvard Medical School and now director of the Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, Mass. "Meanwhile, we're being told that multitasking is a valuable skill, so we try to keep two or three balls in the air simultaneously."

But the brain isn't wired to handle this rush of competing chores. "As you try to do more tasks, you're not likely to do them as well because you can't think in-depth on any of them,"

Making order out of chaos
You can't slow down the pace of work, but you can control the multitude of time-wasting distractions competing for your attention, says Dr. Edward Hallowell, author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap. Here's his tips:

Review how you work.
Invest your time in activities that give the most return and cut back on things that are peripheral.

Do what you love.
Focus on what you like and do best at work, and protect them against distractions.

Set goals and keep them.
Write an agenda of things you want to accomplish each day and stick with it.

Find your rhythm.
Perform routine activities at the time when you are most able to focus on them. For instance, read all your e-mail in the morning before you get caught up in other tasks. Try different schedules to see what works best.

Quit screen-sucking.
Trolling the Web or continually checking e-mails can be addictive. Try moving the computer screen to a less convenient location or put a clock near it to show how much time you're taking.

Create the right attitude.
Dwell on the positive, stay welcoming and upbeat with co-workers. That will make them more co-operative and willing to help with functions that drag on your time.

Things you aren't good at or don't interest you may be right down someone else's alley.

Get over guilt.
Remind yourself regularly that you are doing what you can to the best of your ability, and can't do it all.

Slow down.
When the computer takes too long to boot up, take a deep breath and relax rather than clenching your teeth. Ask yourself, "what's my hurry?" and you'll feel in better control.

Time off spent engaging in what you enjoy is not time wasted.

The complete article that came out in the Globe and Mail can be found here


At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Kamlesh said...

Dropped by after a while. Got a feel for things at your end. Am going through a parallel tunnel that has pretty much the same stuff written on the walls, including Cola wars and J&J's culture :-). glad to see that despite everything, you are keeping up the quality and frequency of ur blogs. Kudos, buddy!


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