I Feel Like Garfield When I Work / by Tze Hern Yeo

Today was one of those Mondays. The kind that Garfield would have scoffed at.

In the office, I flipped between multiple desktops and browser tabs on my screen in a bid to fight the barrage of notifications and urgent tasks that demanded my attention. As the day wore on, my faculties began to wear out. This was only the beginning of my problems.

When the day was about to end, my colleagues and I packed our things, tidied up the office and left. The journey home was unremarkable save for the usual battle against the rush hour crowd. It was when I got back home and settled down that a thought popped into my head: 

Had I left some equipment in the office unaccounted for?

I started to panic. I tried to recall the scene where I was packing but couldn't be sure if I had forgotten about some equipment. I desperately needed Sherlock's photographic memory.

With the help of a colleague who was still at the office I was able to confirm that all the equipment had in fact been returned. I had convinced myself I left out something but my paranoia was thoroughly unfounded.

What this brought to my attention wasn't just my absentmindedness, but my increasing habit of panicking over things that never happened. It finally became clear to me that the more I multitasked, the more forgetful I became.

Without even realising it, I had overloaded my cognitive functions through the constant switching between tasks. The lapses in memory I experienced just goes to show that multitasking doesn't do any good for our attention spans. 

This entire episode has highlighted the importance of monotasking and has forced me to be a lot more focused even in the throes of work. There are many other ways to be productive at the workplace and I am willing to try them. Even if it's on a Monday.