This is more than a business productivity book. A key message is that we need to connect with others around us, giving our full attention to the people who are in the room with us. "We don't have the time to not listen." This can, of course, improve our business relationships, but more importantly, it can improve all everything. Culturally, it's become commonplace for people to look at their phones instead of making eye contact or holding a deep conversation. Time to look at this as a dumb, passing fad and return to true companionship.
The author is not immune from the tempting digital distractions of our age. She relates trying to edit her manuscript during yoga class, not just once, but for a few days! If I did this, my papers would quickly be ruined by all the sweat pouring off my forehead. Then I'm sure I would have toppled sideways. I am agog at the dedication this must have taken. What an astounding idea. It is surely a sign of our milieu that I am a bit impressed and almost want to try it myself. FIFTY MINUTES of singletasking? What are you, some swami?
Zack claims that singletasking makes us happier, more relaxed and focused, and more productive. I agree. I've worked at home for years now, setting my own schedule, and I alternate between deep dives and petty chores. When I spend time with people who still work traditional day jobs, it can be alarming. We don't notice the way that phone notifications constantly ruin our concentration. We don't realize that we're leaving people hanging when we break eye contact or are clearly dividing our attention. We don't notice how jangled we are on caffeine, either. Try the exercises in Singletasking, and take it from me: your daily life will feel more like you're on vacation, even as you get more done.
This book deserves to be an instant classic. It's snappy, funny, and short enough that even the most harried person can take it in. Read it in short bursts if you have to, but read it. If you can attend to even two pages without getting distracted, it will help gather your divided attention and start pulling your focus back together.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.