Multitasking may speed you through your to-do list, but it also makes you more likely to make mistakes and less likely to retain information. Here are three ways to focus:
- Think good thoughts. Positive emotions improve the brain's executive function and encourage creative and strategic thinking. Improve your emotional balance by taking short breaks and thinking about things that make you happy.
- Ban distractions. Be aware of what steals your attention. When disrupted, make a conscious choice to return to the task at hand. This may mean shutting off your Blackberry/Smartphone.
- Leave things behind. When you turn to a new task, part of your brain is still thinking about the last one. Before starting something new, go for a walk, climb stairs, or do some deep breathing to clear your head.
Adapted from "Train Your Brain to Focus" by Paul Hammerness, MD, and Margaret Moore.