Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself. —Marilyn vos Savant
Recently, I learned something interesting: there’s no such thing as multitasking. People believe in multitasking and, in fact, most people think that they’re very good at it. But the evidence shows that what looks like multitasking is actually rapid task-switching, and that most of us are much worse at it than we believed.
When I read this, an invisible lightbulb went off over my head. I often write with several tabs open on my screen, and if a new Email comes in, I never resist the urge to check it. Then I switch back to writing.
But, every time I do that, I interrupt the flow of my own thoughts. I take my attention away from the writing at hand, turn to the Email, then return to my writing and have to re-focus my energy. Even if it only seems to take a moment, those moments add up over the course of the day. That means that I’m losing valuable writing time...and wasting mental energy.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to diminish distractions and see if it made any impact on my productivity. The interesting thing is that, as I pondered how to address this issue, I suddenly remembered that Bookflow has a “focus" mode. When I’m writing a project in Bookflow, there’s a small square at the bottom right of the screen. When clicked, it maximizes the page I’m on so that I can’t see my tabs. Another click of the square will bring my browser back to size.
This was a feature requested by several Bookflow users, and—although it sounded valuable to me and I made sure the tech team built it—I hadn’t really used it myself. Until now.
I wasn’t surprised that this feature made me more productive. What did surprise me is that minimizing distractions and focusing more closely on my writing has improved both my mood and energy. The Internet can be a very noisy neighborhood...it’s a good idea to “shut the blinds” by going distraction-free.
Your writing deserves your full attention. That’s when it offers its greatest rewards.