The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time - Tony Schwartz - Harvard Business Review
Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you’re taking notes while you surf the net? Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you make calls while you’re driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn’t?
The biggest cost — assuming you don’t crash — is to your productivity. In part, that’s a simple consequence of splitting your attention, so that you’re partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one. In part, it’s because when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 per cent.
I completely struggle with this daily at work. Before I even complete one task my attention is drawn to 3 others, and so on so forth. Until at the end of the day I realize I haven’t really finished anything at all.
Focusing on one thing at a time and finishing them isn’t being inefficient, it’s actually proven to work.