Do you suffer from computer-screen Attention Deficit Disorder? A few indicators might be: You have five Internet Explorer tabs open simultaneously. You’re working away at three Word documents at the same time, and you are fiddling with two open spreadsheets, too. Quite simply, you are balancing so many on-screen tasks simultaneously, you’re struggling to complete any one of them.
Computer-screen ADD can make us less productive because when we focus on many tasks at once, we run the risk of not completing any of them. Multitasking gone awry. It can also become difficult to prioritize tasks when you are lost in a sea of responsibilities.
Focusing on several things at once can hurt your productivity. But there are a couple things you can do help break these behaviors.
Resist the minimization urge
Since it goes against decades of conditioning, breaking the habit of minimizing windows may seem difficult, but in order to improve your productivity it’s critical. By minimizing windows you are choosing to set that task aside and work on something else, but if you leave it up and tackle it, it is one more thing off of your plate. If you shrink it, it may be days before you get it done as you work on it sporadically. Adhering to the “no-minimization” rule can force you to complete that task immediately and not put it off.
This may seem too easy to be helpful, but take some control back over your email with filters. For instance, creating filters that move emails from your boss into your inbox and emails from everyone else into a second inbox, you will be forced to pay attention to the most important ones. You will be amazed at how often you skim over more essential emails because another one is easier to deal with, or more fun. These things can just be distractions. It’s more helpful to focus on the important tasks and then when you have time, get to the lower priority stuff.