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Oct 5, 2010

"To do two things at once is to do neither." --Publilius Syrus

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

The rise of the social web has created a flood of information over the past few years. With this influx of life and data streams comes a desire to stay on top of it all. For many people, this means multi-tasking. While it's intuitive to think that handling so many tasks at once makes us more productive and efficient, multi-tasking actually does quite the opposite. According to Stanford Professor Clifford Nass, those who multi-task often seem less able to distinguish relevant from irrelevant, manage their memory, or switch from task to task. So, in the age of Twitter, email, and text messaging, what is one to do? Do one thing at a time, for 15 minutes each, Nass offers. "Then, take a quick scan at all the streams, and decide which one you're going to allocate the next 15 minutes to."

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