Recommended ReadsNovember 10th, 2020

Time confetti: The cost of multitasking

Jess Allison
Jess Allison, People and Operations Director

Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed, coined the term “time confetti” to describe the way our time is ripped into smaller pieces by interruptions and notifications. We might have the same amount of time total, but we don’t have the extended stretches of it required for deep focus.

Despite knowing how badly context switching affects my ability to work, I’ll happily keep my Slack window or email inbox open as I try to work through another task. Seeing a visual timeline of interruptions dotted through each hour brought home the cost of that.

The lesson this article tries to (re?) teach is simple: whether it’s work or leisure, do one thing at a time. Putting this into practice, I’m now staying off Slack when I need to focus, and setting a 15-minute gap after any meeting so I can document the meeting actions, clear notifications, and triage any other new tasks.

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