Don't multi-task?!

Listened to the interview with Tim Ferriss on the iinnovate. He's author of "The 4-Hour Work Week". At 4:55 (in the podcast) he talks about "multi-tasking". He simply states: "Don't multi-task, finish a task without interruptions." Interesting statement and maybe I should read the book first to understand it. Because I find it very hard to not multi-task. At work, I'm interrupted very often. And how does this relate to Linda Stone's work? She talks about multi-tasking being an inherent feature of the way we work in the 21st century.


  1. We always have a choice to use a habitual or reactive attention strategy or to make a decision to manage our attention (and thus, better manage our time). A quick comment on attention (from my Wiki -- “We have focused on managing our time. Our opportunity is to focus on how we manage our attention. We are evolving beyond an always-on lifestyle. As we make choices to turn the technology OFF, to give full attention to others in interactions, to block out interruption-free time, and to use the full range of communication tools more appropriately, we will re-orient our trek toward a path of more engaged attention, more fulfulling relationships, and opportunities for the type of reflection that fuels innovation.” For the most part, I don't think about attention strategies being GOOD or BAD -- I think about them as being more or less well-matched to what we want and to what activities we're doing. My hunch is that Tim Ferriss is saying something similiar.

  2. Thanks Linda for your comment! I follow your interesting work. And agree with the balanced approach you take in your work. I recognize it in my own life too. But you don't state "Don't multi-task at all" (With multi-tasking I mean the modern variant of the word.) It seems to me that Feriss is saying this, but it's hard for me to believe that he really applies this to his work/life. But, again, maybe I should just read the book...

  3. By the way, Linda, you're Etech 2006 talks was translated into Dutch and published in my newspaper, the NRC (

  4. thanks for listening to iinnovate. i'm glad it's useful, and interesting.

    min, on behalf of the iinnovate team.


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