Focus, Filter And Forget To Ease Out Of Multitasking

You’ve read countless articles about the inefficiencies and mental harm of excessive multitasking. But your own brain seems to betray your best efforts at doing one thing well at a time. A newsletter for higher-level executives offers a three-pronged strategy for getting back into doing real work.

McKinsey Quarterly, carrying forth the banner of the problems with trying to do too much at once, suggests that executives can, in fact, escape from the feeling of needing to be connected at all times, rather than leaving work and feeling oneself done with it. Of course, many of us have executive-style powers in our non-executive jobs.

The bulk of McKinsey’s article is behind a paywall, but the New York Times’ Bits blog summarises its takeaway:

In pithy fashion, the article urges executives to cope by Focusing (do one thing at a time), Filtering (delegating so that you don’t take on too many tasks or too much information) and Forgetting (read: exercise, take breaks, clear your head).

Has a similar strategy worked for you? When did you realise you were doing too much at once, and how did you deal with information overload? Photo by Nina Matthews Photography.

Recovering from information overload [McKinsey Quarterly via NYT/Bits]

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