Ha! I was right: singletasking IS the new multi-tasking

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You may remember that I posted about the natty little program called Freedom that turns off your internet access for a time designated by you, so you can get on with your work? And you may remember that I have a thing about multi-tasking: I think it’s a myth, and a rather dangerous and antisocial one at that.

Well now all those themes come together in a nice article from the Monitor column of The Economist called Stay on Target. It’s about programs like Freedom that help you to ‘clear your screen and clear your mind’, and concentrate on singletasking. That of course is tautologous, because concentrating means just that – focusing on a single task. It is central to  Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow (that being in a ‘flow’ state is by definition one in which you are ‘lost’ in the thing you’re doing).  So how ever did we come to think that multi-tasking was cool, socially acceptable, or even safe?

I have to confess that I got the link to the article via the Guardian’s tech-feed on Twitter which linked to this technology blog. But now I’ve read it, I’ll be turning on Freedom. Goodbye.


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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist