A Simple Productivity Hack to Try Next Week: Tabless Thursday
Doctors have begged you to stop multitasking. So has an army of productivity gurus. If all those folks haven't yet quite convinced you yet, perhaps a snarky and entertaining young member of the Atlantic's editorial team can get through to you (with the help of a camera crew as well as a few cartoon meerkats and three-toed sloths).
The short, jokey video features senior editor James Hamblin gently mocking himself (and us along with him) for the crazy way concentration goes out the window as we fall down the Internet rabbit hole, leapfrogging from one tangentially related site to another. The physical manifestation of this productivity and attention-destroying process? Dozens of tabs open on your browser.
Perhaps the solution to our tendency to wander off task and end up (somehow) signing a petition to save the sloths, he suggests, isn't a deep dive into the science of attention or a knock-down-drag-out struggle with our mind's impulse to wander. Maybe we can just start by choosing one day of the week and going tabless. That's right, for a whole 24 hours you only get to look at one Web page at at a time. The Atlantic dubs it "a vacation from distraction."
Will your brain explode or thank you for the experiment? Give it a try and let us know how it went in the comments (don't worry, the sloths will still be there on Friday).
JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.