New data suggest multitasking is counter productive... Stick to one thing at a time. You'll get more done.

Find Your Focus

Did you know?

The increasingly common professional and personal habit of multitasking – conducting two or far more unrelated tasks at the same time – is actually making the world less rather than more efficient. In fact, multitasking reduces workplace productivity by approximately 40 percent. While certain simple tasks are amenable to multitasking, in today’s workplace many employees have more complex job responsibilities that require clear judgment, thought and creativity. These higher level thinking tasks demand attention. That is why employers want employees to put aside multiple distractions and “monotask” — focus on one thing at a time. Since most students are the ultimate multitaskers, here are some strategies to help them find their focus.

Do this…

  • Ask students questions about how and why they multitask.
  • View video.
  • Distribute Student Activity (now in fillable, pdf), review instructions and complete.
    (Answers: 1,F; 2,F; 3,T; 4,F; 5,F)
  • Discuss students’ responses to multitasking realities.
  • List students’ suggestions on how to find their focus.

Get Real!

Show your students how multitasking really slows them down with this video. Have them try this Focus Test from the NY Times and the Stay Focused activity (pages 20-21) from the Backpack to Briefcase booklet .