1. Close your e-mail
YOU'LL BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
You might think you’re good at multitasking, but studies show that when people do many things at once, they just waste most of their time switching between tasks. Take e-mail: According to a Longborough University study, it takes about 64 seconds to return to your regular speed of work after reading a new message. What’s worse, a recent study from Carnegie Mellon found that when people were interrupted while performing a cognitive skill task, they answered 20% more questions wrong than people who were left alone. David Rock, director of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Your Brain at Work, suggests turning your e-mail off while doing anything important. “If you think looking at an e-mail is distracting, not looking at e-mail is even more distracting,” he says. “What if it’s a million dollars? If you know there are e-mails, you won’t be able to stop yourself.”
- Editor Obsession: Shoes We LoveOur editors' picks for the best shoes for the coming season.
- Six Spirits That Will Save Your Holiday SeasonThey're key to any holiday gathering.
- 8 Holiday Cocktails Made with MoonshineMust-try recipes from America's most visited distillery.
- Form CheckThe easy reminders for five basic lifts.