Many of us are guilty of multitasking in our lives -- well, thinking that we multitask, at least. In reality, we are all just switching from one task to the other relatively quickly, failing to really accomplish one particular goal at any given time. Research shows that this decreases our productivity and increases our stress levels.
Our constant connection to technology is frequently the root of this desire to tackle it all, all at once. In today's video post as part of his nine-part series for The Atlantic, senior editor James Hamblin, M.D. discusses how his Internet multitasking makes him anything but efficient, and the steps he's taken to start "single-tasking" instead. His hilarious -- yet honest -- commentary just might make you reconsider the way you structure your time, too.
"The way that technology is and the way that I interact with it has started to affect me in real life," he says. "Am I developing some sort of inability to focus because I never focus on things?"
Fearing that his life was beginning to mimic his Internet activity, he decided to make conscious adjustments in his working style with something he calls Tabless Thursday.
"It's where you don't really use the Internet in a traditional way -- you just sort of open a tab and use it," he explains. "It's called single-tasking, that's what i call it. ... It's like work but only on one thing. This way you have to really make a value judgment and say, 'Do I want to finish what I'm doing or do I want to stop and do something else?' You can click away if it's not interesting, but you close it and it's done and it's behind you and it's not part of your life."
Ultimately, the goal is for us to expand this single-tab practice on a larger scale and apply it to all of the things we do.
"It's not just about tabs," Hamblin says. "Tabs are a metaphor for life, right? And if you can just have one tab open and be doing it well, that's like you are fully present in the moment."
Check out Hamblin's "Single-tasking Is the New Multitasking" video below.