Last Updated Mar 11, 2011 7:25 PM EST
Back in 1971 - the digital dark ages before cell phones, email, Google and the Internet - Nobel Prize winning economist Herbert Simon saw the tsunami coming. "What information consumes is rather obvious," he wrote, presciently. "It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention."No matter how much we warn you about multitasking, though, I suspect you're not going to give it up. It's just too ingrained in corporate culture -- heck, I write about the dangers of multitasking, and I'm unlikely to stop doing it anytime soon. So instead, Schwartz has suggested 4 strategies for taking back control of your attention span and being more effective with your time:
- Do the most important thing of the day first thing in the morning, for 60 to 90 minutes without interruption.
- Chunk your e-mail into batches through the day.
- Take short breaks through the day.
- To make up for all your e-mail and tweeting, do something intellectually challenging (like reading a book) every evening for at least 30 minutes.