During a conference call with the executive committee of a nonprofit board on which I sit, I decided to send an e-mail to a client.
I know—multitasking is dangerous.
But I wasn’t texting while driving. I was safe at my desk. What could go wrong?
Well, I sent the client the message. Then I had to send him another one, this time with the attachment I’d forgotten to append. Finally, my third e-mail to him explained why that attachment wasn’t what he was expecting. When I eventually refocused on the call, I realized I hadn’t heard a question the board’s chair had asked me.
I swear I wasn’t sleep-deprived or smoking anything. But I might as well have been. A study showed that people distracted by incoming ...