Our day-to-day is increasingly full of tasks that accumulate in our “inboxes” or just in our heads. Current technological paraphernalia gave us more time, but we just fill that free time with more tasks to do. Whether at work or in personal life, we are mixing everything, trying to be more productive. Probably you’re reading this post, watching TV and thinking about what needs to buy when in the supermarket. But our short-term memory stores only between 5 and 9 things at the same time. And that is not compatible with any tasks that require more detailed attention.
In this post, written by former VP of engineering at Google, Douglas Merrill, to Forbes, he tells how they created the meetings where laptops were “banned” in order to try to focus the attention of those involved in the matter to be treated and avoid all waste of time.
There are many examples where our anxiety to perform multiple tasks at the same time can be analyzed. An usual one is to talk on a cell phone and driving, or worse, send a text message and drive. In the case of Douglas – and many of us – he ended up hitting the car, fortunately without casualties. But it was the most expensive SMS he ever sent.
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