I have come to the conclusion after years of multitask creep that it is not working for me. Yes, I can bang though a tons of low-level tasks while responding to emails, reminders, meeting requests, tweets, IMs and physical interruptions but I have found it increasingly impossible to concentrate on doing the more creative work that I actually enjoy doing. There is just no getting around it – creative projects, whether software development, design, writing, composing require significant bursts of sustained concentration. Loneliness is actually your friend. I have disabled all real-time audio and visual signals on every piece of electronics I own and set up a very quiet, zen home office and studio space. I think it is working.
A classic article on this topic:
The Autumn of the Multitaskers – Magazine – The Atlantic.
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Tom Von Lahndorff
Agree. I’ve been moving along the same path as well and dedicating more time to focusing individual projects and tasks as much as possible. Being so connected via iPhone, laptop and desktop I’m not worried about missing out on anything important. There’s a clear improvement in the quality of work when being focused. Each additional dedicated minute given to a task increases the quality of the overall end product exponentially when not having to constantly flush and reload mental RAM.