From time to time, I address the challenge of handling the crazy-making, concentration-disrupting streams of information that hit our computers every day — from the relatively old-fashioned emails, to instant messages, Twitter feeds, and the ever-present siren call of Facebook. So you can imagine my delight when I got a BNET alert yesterday entitled “Which is Worse for Your Brain — Texting or Pot“?
If you’re guessing “pot,” guess again. According to research cited in the article, concentrating too much on IM and email wastes your thinking ability more than marijuana. Yikes. Managers are especially at risk because of the higher-order thinking that email and texting seem to disrupt most.
The tips on dealing with email are ones I’ve covered here before (including choosing set times to check email, rather than checking it every 15 seconds and turning off alerts that signal when an email has come in). But then the article ventures into some slightly tangential topics, too, including how to prioritize your work throughout the day and how to delegate, so you don’t have to deal with as much information at any one time. I didn’t find the tips that helpful — but the research was fascinating.