17Focus Your Attention

Multitasking is a myth. Instead of tackling multiple tasks at once, as the term suggests, people who “multitask” are really shifting their attention. Each time you break your focus—for e-mail, or to respond to a buzz or ping or icon changing color on your phone—it takes significant time to shift your focus back. Don’t be a slave to bells and whistles.


1. Email and other notifications can be addictive—literally. When you get a new notification, your brain gets a hit of dopamine—a chemical in a lot of drugs, including cocaine. Don’t start your day with a hit of dopamine. Instead, resolve to work for 90-minute blocks, and check email only during specific windows. Use the daily schedule on these two pages to plan out ...

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