Is Multitasking Counterproductive?

Pay attention. At least for a few minutes, forget the other applications on your computer. Ignore the emails that ceaselessly stream in or your cell phone as it pleads for your attention. Try not to do what modern life often demands: multitask.

If you find it difficult, you’re not alone. So many of us feel our attention is constantly divided that Linda Stone, a former executive at both Microsoft and Apple, coined the term “continuous partial attention” to describe the phenomenon. Because this “splintering” is potentially a significant drain on productivity, experts are looking for ways of focusing the attention of today’s employees.

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Jo Averill-Snell
Reprinted with permission from i4cp’s TrendWatcher. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp, inc.) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. For more information, including references for this article, contact i4cp Membership Services Director Greg Pernula at