Multitasking is a big part of modern society. You can notice it at home, at work, when you are watching a film with your family, you may notice that your family members are using their laptops and phones at the same time – it is called multiscreening. When you are in a meeting, you may notice people sending emails under the table.
Multitasking is often seen as a sign of hardworking and efficiency. The truth is that multitasking can make you more likely to forget things and make mistakes. You are also less likely to obtain new information, which can make it harder for you to solve problems or be creative.
Teach your brain to stay focused
There has been a lot of research in recent years into how the brain works. Scientists have made huge advances with neuroimaging, and studies are teaching us more about how the brain focuses on tasks.
The research has also revealed more about how easily the brain can be distracted. This research is very relevant to modern society, as most people struggle to focus for long periods of time. Scientists have found that anyone can teach their brain to ignore distractions and stay focused. This helps to you to be more productive and creative, and it will help you to achieve your goals.
The ABC model
An article published in Harvard Business Review describes the ABC method to help people to stay focused. It gives you the chance to focus again when you have been distracted. There are three steps to follow.
A: awareness of your options. You can either follow the distraction and become unfocused, or you can keep going with the task that you are working on.
B: breathing deeply. Take a minute to relax without thinking about the distraction.
C: choice. You can choose to be distracted or you can choose to stay focused.
It might sound simple, but it works. This is because you are openly acknowledging that one of the options is a distraction, rather than a useful or important task, so it is much easier for you to ignore it.