Excellent article on the benefits of Social Media detox by Prof Cal Newport. Highly recommended read (and advice)!
Since January, I’ve been reading through the hundreds of reports that participants sent me about their experience with the digital declutter. I’ve been learning a lot from these case studies, but I want to focus here on one observation in particular that caught my attention: when freed from standard digital distractions, participants often overhauled their free time in massively positive ways.
One major issue is that everybody uses email, and email creates multiple “black holes” – isolated, locked repositories that email disappears into, never to be seen again, forever outside the reach of people who need it.
David M. Levy, who has lived his life between the “fast world” of high tech and the “slow world” of contemplation, offers a welcome guide to being more relaxed, attentive, and emotionally balanced, and more effective, while online.
In a series of exercises carefully designed to help readers observe and reflect on their own use, Levy has readers watch themselves closely while emailing and while multitasking, and also to experiment with unplugging for a specified period. Never prescriptive, the book opens up new avenues for self-inquiry and will allow readers—in the workplace, in the classroom, and in the privacy of their homes—to make meaningful and powerful changes.
The amount of multitasking students do during class and while studying is alarming.
Consistently, in response to surveys, more than 85% of students say they have their phones on in class, are looking at texts as they come in and during class, and between 70 and 90% say they respond to texts in class. And this is happening in courses with policies that prohibit or significantly curtail the use of electronic devices.
The message of this book is quite simple: multitasking doesn’t work.
The fact that you’re doing it and you’re still successful doesn’t mean the opposite. It probably means that you don’t have enough time to do anything else. And that you’ll finish twice as more if you start to singletask.
The root cause of stress and work-related exhaustion does not come from what is happening in our external environment, but how we respond to it from our internal landscape; more specifically – from how our mind reacts to what we are experiencing and the extent to which we are able to effectively manage our mind, or not.
You can hardly be alone, in this modern age. Bombarded with gadgets that fit your palm to the huge screens that have replaced walls, you cannot escape the captivating attraction of being connected, entertained, stimulated and engaged all at the same time!
And what happens when your senses are overactive – when you are checking your inbox, a whatsapp message, an SMS, the latest beer commercial, the number of “likes” on your clever status message? You end up being, what is colloquially called, a Multitasker – one who does many things at once.
It’s easy to spend a large portion of your working day just trying to make a dent in your email backlog, to the detriment of other, often more pressing, priorities. With the average worker spending 13 hours a week dealing with emails, businesses are potentially losing up to 28% of work time to email admin.
Here are four strategies that might help you to reduce this burden, improve productivity and streamline internal communication.
Task errors by emergency physicians are associated with interruptions, multitasking, fatigue and working memory capacity: a prospective, direct observation study
Interruptions, multitasking and poor sleep were associated with significantly increased rates of prescribing errors among emergency physicians. WMC mitigated the negative influence of these factors to an extent. These results confirm experimental findings in other fields and raise questions about the acceptability of the high rates of multitasking and interruption in clinical environments.