Me Time: How to Stop Multitasking

Think you’re being pretty efficient when you multitask? Think again. Drivers chatting on cell phones, for instance, take longer to reach their destinations, a recent University of Utah study says.


Think youre being pretty efficient when you multitask? Think again. Drivers chatting on cell phones, for instance, take longer to reach their destinations, a recent University of Utah study says. “Thats the myth of multitasking,” says Edward Hallowell, MD, ADHD specialist and author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life. “Its like playing tennis with two balls: Your games not as good as it would be with one ball.”  How to stop?

Strive to give each task your full attention. Dr. Hallowell tells of a lawyer who negotiated an amazing deal. Later, the adversaries couldnt believe theyd agreed to such terms. The savvy lawyers secret? He focused on the deal only, while the other team checked their PDAs.

You can achieve this type of focus if you go linear—do one thing at a time, moving from one task to the next. Try it: Instead of talking on the phone while answering emails and helping your child do homework, go linear; it wont take longer and youll be sharper.
Gretchen Roberts
Last Updated: June 25, 2008

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