Unitasking

A.J. Jacobs (The Know-it-all, The Year of Living Biblically) has decided for his newest project to try to do only one thing at a time, i.e. unitask as opposed to multitask. It turns out to be pretty difficult for someone who normally checks his email while reading the newspaper, eating breakfast and talking to his wife, as Jacobs does. But he raises some really interesting points about how we spend our time. And the picture above? Explained:

Day four I’ve got to do something about my desk. This is where most of my crimes against focus occur. There are so many temptations. So many needs to fulfil. Snacks, cups of water, caffeine, curiosity about what Julie’s doing. I pop up from my desk once every five minutes.

I decide to engage in some light bondage. I once read about how Odysseus demanded his sailors tie him to the mast so he wouldn’t take a swan dive off the starboard side when he heard the alluring singing of the Sirens. So, in an homage, I’ve tied myself to the chair in front of my computer with a long extension cord. It feels safe, like a seat belt.

Five minutes ago, I thought of adjusting the lamp, since the bulb was spotlighting my face as if I was about to sing a solo. But then I’d have to unknot the cord and get up. I stay in the chair and return to my computer. It’s working!

My Colossal Task Burden [The Guardian]

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