How to avoid multitasking when you work from home

At this point, we all know that multitasking is bad for productivity. And certainly the pandemic has upended our work lives. For many people, this spring meant suddenly going from a routine involving going to the office to working, daily, from our homes. Worse yet, we might be sharing that work environment with spouses, partners, children, and roommates. It’s also apparent many people may have never actually taken the time to structure their work from home environment mindfully.

Given all that, here are three tips to make your work-from-home environment more effective.


My colleagues at the University of Texas found out suddenly that the university was closed. We had a couple of days to grab things from the office and to start working remotely. Many people had decades worth of books, articles, and research in their offices that were left inaccessible for weeks.

If you didn’t have a dedicated space for working from home before, then you had to carve something out. You might have been lucky enough to have a spare bedroom, but judging from many things I have seen in people’s Zoom backgrounds, lots of people have a makeshift desk set up in their bedrooms, surrounded by piles of paper.


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