How to Stop Multitasking

It takes a lot of self-discipline to resist the lure of pinging and whirring technology, but there are huge pay-offs in terms of productivity.

  • Instead of frantically multitasking with multiple forms of technology and media, try to concentrate on one at a time. Stanford communication professor Clifford Nass recommends disciplining yourself to devote an uninterrupted twenty minutes to each task, be it answering email or working on homework.
  • Try using apps like Freedom and Self-Control that keep you from using distracting sites when you don’t want to.
  • Begin paying attention to how many forms of media you are using at once and ask yourself what your goal is. Simple awareness can help curb tech binges.
  • Set a timer on your computer to go off every fifteen or twenty minutes to remind yourself to get back on task if you have strayed.

Being mindful of how technology can distract and derail us helps us reap its benefits without letting the machines take over.

--Liz Soltan