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Track Your Multitasking and Be Surprised


I played with a little experiment this week in which I record in real time all activities I'm currently doing. I do this using my daily planning method as a platform (more information doing this kind of tracking in my product). In this case I mark all current activity using ">". In the screen shot you see that I (in this moment) have four going on:

  • Writing an email asking for help promoting above product (part of emptying my inbox),
  • Clearing out my email inbox,
  • Writing this post (a form of capture), and
  • Partially ("~") emptying my paper inbox.


Yes, I'm aware that I'm multitasking when I'm doing it (occupational hazard), which doesn't make it productive, but tracking it brought it home. What can I do with this data? Ignore it! Seriously, it gives me an excuse to back off a bit. And I'll keep experimenting with a personal informatics principle I'm playing with: Information leads to awareness leads to action leads to insight. (A variation of the three A's: Awareness, Acceptance, Action?)

I'm curious: Feel like giving it a go? Does the informatics principle above hold water? How would you use this data?


Reader Comments (4)

Great multi-tasking post. I've got 3 computers on right now at my desk. I guess I'm not focusing on anything. Time to get back to work.

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDarren G

Too many of us forget that "tracking brings it home."

Good word.

Matthew Trogdon
Director of Business Development
OnMessage Inc.

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Trogdon

Thanks for reading, Darren. Now on to your previous comment and reply post.

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

I like the phrase, Matthew. Thanks for your comment.

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

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