Show Notes

Episode 191: The Myth of Multitasking

Staying focused on a single task is so beneficial–and so challenging. This week, Shannon and Janine discuss how our brains aren’t wired to multitask and some strategies for doing one thing at a time.

Discussion topics include:

  • The soothing and healing power of a cat’s purr
  • How hard it is to resist multitasking
  • The impossibility of doing more than one thing at the same time
  • How multitasking usually results in none of the things being attempted done well
  • Situations where you can truly multitask (at least sometimes)
  • Shannon’s strategy: Placing a sticky note about the one thing she’s trying to do on her computer monitor to keep her on task
  • Another tip: Turn off notifications
  • How focusing on doing one thing at a time seems more important these days than ever
  • Acknowledging the temptation of other things and jotting the distraction down to come back to later
  • The relationship between our poor memories and distractibility
  • The limits of our working memory
  • How we can (purportedly) hold only seven pieces of information (plus or minus two) in our memory at a time
  • How multitasking is actually rapid switching between tasks–and it takes a lot of brainpower
  • The benefit of staying focused on one thing until you complete it: The reward of completion!


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