Management Tip of the Day: Stop the multitasking madness

BOSTON Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:57am IST

A generic picture of a woman working in an office sitting at her desk typing on a computer. REUTERS/Catherine Benson/Files

A generic picture of a woman working in an office sitting at her desk typing on a computer.

Credit: Reuters/Catherine Benson/Files

BOSTON (Reuters) - Multitasking makes us more prone to making mistakes, more likely to miss important information and cues, and less likely to retain information in working memory, which impairs problem solving and creativity, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Multitasking may speed you through your to-do list, but it also makes you more likely to make mistakes and less likely to retain information.

Here are three ways to focus:

1. Think good thoughts. Positive emotions improve the brain's executive function and encourage creative and strategic thinking. Improve your emotional balance by actively thinking about things that make you happy.

2. Ban distractions. Be aware of what steals your attention. When disrupted, make a conscious choice to return to the task at hand.

3. Leave things behind. When you turn to a new task, part of your brain is still thinking about the last one. Before starting something new, go for a walk, climb stairs, or do some deep breathing to clear your head."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Train Your Brain to Focus" by Paul Hammerness, MD, and Margaret Moore.

(For the full post, see: here)

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