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In this digital age, our ability to escape from demands on our time and attention – both in our professional and personal lives – has been severely compromised.

Most of us can now be contacted pretty much anywhere, at any time. From work requests to personal messages to advertising, this constant influx means that our ‘To Do’ lists just keep getting longer and longer. So, the pressure to multitask is extraordinary. While that might be perceived as a benefit to the people we work with and for, it’s actually a bit of a poisoned chalice.

A study by the University of London revealed that during periods of multitasking, our IQ actually drops by five to 15 points. Which means that every one of those multiple tasks is receiving an inferior standard of care.

Unplugging from the constant influx of demands can be a very effective method of resetting your brain to just work on one, high priority task at a time. A few minutes of mental solitude every day – whether that’s taking a short walk or shutting down all your distracting digital feeds for a while – can work wonders in helping you to regain your focus.

But if you’re looking ahead to 2020 and wondering how you can make this new year more efficient and less stressful than the last, the first thing I would urge you to consider is your ‘To Do’ list. Or rather, how about starting a ‘To Not Do’ list

Looking back over the last 12 months, where could you have saved time? When did you waste your energy on unimportant matters? What responsibilities could have been delegated or dropped altogether?

Rather than adding to your intended actions for 2020, what can you cull from your schedule and resolve not to do in the year ahead? Out with the old… and out with some of the new, too!


Originally Published on Linkedin – January 5, 2020


Mark Fryer

5th January 2020

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