Feeling Unfocused at Work? Try Adding Extra Screens.

Incorporating different devices for various tasks can help boost your productivity and focus.

What's the Latest?

Ever wonder who thought up the brilliant idea to put the internet on the same machine as your word processor? If you have, it was probably due to an inability to focus on a single task with so many varying bits of responsibility (or temptation) calling your name. Clive Thompson over at WIRED has a post up today describing a basic solution to this problem: diversify your workflow between multiple screens. If you incorporate additional devices into your routine and designate each of them for a separate task, you can boost your level of focus on each individual necessity.

What's the Big Idea?

Thompson tells how several people who lead very tech-heavy lives balance their tasks between devices:
Paul Bridger, a startup founder based in Europe, says he uses social apps like Twitter only on his iPad Mini so he won’t be seduced by them on his laptop. For Doug Belshaw, a web-literacy lead for Mozilla, it’s about making multiple tasks quickly glanceable. He puts to-do apps on a tablet that he keeps next to his desk like a physical calendar. “Ideally, I’d have a separate device for every activity,” he says.

That last sentence is really quite interesting. Part of the appeal of modern devices is that they consolidate all our tasks onto one screen (remember this?). Yet too much saturation on one device has shown to be detrimental to productivity. Research has shown that it's easier to focus on pieces of paper laid out on a table instead of stacked on top of each other. Thompson seems to believe this is the same idea around multiple screens. 

Keep Reading at WIRED

Photo credit: jannoon028 / Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Herodotus’ mystery vessel turns out to have been real

Archeologists had been doubtful since no such ship had ever been found.

(Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)
Surprising Science
  • In 450 BCE, Greek historian Herodotus described a barge that's never been found.
  • When the ancient port of Thonis-Heracleion was discovered, some 70 sunken ships were found resting in its waters.
  • One boat, Ship 17, uncannily matches the Herodotus' description.
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan: The gender paradox and the importance of competition

The Canadian professor has been on the Joe Rogan Experience six times. There's a lot of material to discuss.

Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson has constantly been in the headlines for his ideas on gender over the last three years.
  • While on Joe Rogan's podcast, he explains his thoughts on the gender differences in society.
  • On another episode, Peterson discusses the development of character through competition.
Keep reading Show less