There might be nothing so frustrating as working for an entire day, feeling exhausted when the day’s over – and getting nothing done. How is this possible? More than once, when scanning back through my day I’ve felt bewildered. I’m tired so I must have been productive, right? A phone call, a quick drop-in meeting, a few emails, driving off to a meeting, replying to a text, checking how my latest post did on Facebook. I barely get to the big task on my list and it’s time to pick up my daughter for piano. What just happened? Over the weekend I re-read the sparkling book The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufmann, and one of his chapters perfectly diagnosed my conundrum. It’s called the cognitive switching penalty. The gist: we think we can multi-task, but we can’t. We all actually only do one task at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth. When we constantly switch between several tasks (quick question, quick email, quick trip to the fridge, quick...Read More
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