Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution 1: Single-task

The first of my eleven New Year's Resolutions is to single-task.

There's a lot of news out there that multi-tasking doesn't work, and I can see the evidence in my own life. I find myself easily distracted, especially online, where I've always got multiple windows with multiple tabs open, following Twitter and blogs and email while simultaneously playing an MMORPG with my sister and updating our financial spreadsheet. Or eating breakfast while watching the Today Show and checking the weather on my phone. Or eating lunch at my desk while browsing blogs and answering emails and phone calls as they come in.

No more!

I don't want to do two (or more) things at once and have both things suffer. Here are my guidelines:
  • Only one piece of technology at a time. No checking email on my phone while watching TV. 
  • On the internet, focus on one thing at a time. Either blog, or tweet, or play games, or balance accounts, but not all at once.
  • At work, check email at designated times and not on a constat incoming basis. Turn off sound and pop-ups that alert about new email. (This will be going against corporate culture, so we'll see how I do with it.)
  • Meals should focus on food. There's a new breakroom/lounge at work, so I even have a place to take my lunch that's not in front of my computer. (I might fudge this one to allow for reading a book while eating, as that's always been a pleasure for me.)
Things like reading while on the train or doing laundry is fine.  That's really the only kind of multi-tasking that's valuable anyway.

3 comments:

  1. I am on board with unitasking. Seriously on board.

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  2. I like the idea, and I actually tried the email thing at work. It didn't work out. My supervisors and coworkers expect a prompt response, not a response when I check my email at a designated time. :-/

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  3. I like the idea of single tasking. I even started a web site that allows you to create a task list that only allows you to look at your current task. http://singletask.org

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Thanks for commenting!