Multi-thinking instead of multi-tasking

Jeffrey Baumgartner of The InnovationTools weblog had a nice idea for managing the maelstrom in your head without it getting in the way of your work.  Brainstorming technique - Multi-thinking - from InnovationTools

Whether you multi-task or not, you almost certainly have numerous tasks awaiting your attention at any given time. And it is inevitable that your mind occasionally turns to one task while you are working on another. A multi-tasker would be inclined to switch tasks at this point. I recommend you stick to the task at hand, but keep a notebook - or at least some paper nearby - when performing any tasks. (I recommend having a notebook with you all the time). When the mind turns from the task at hand to another task, simply note down your thoughts in the notebook. Then return to the task at hand.

While this is still an interruption to the task at hand, it is a structured way to have an interruption.  Rather than letting those brainstorm thoughts distract you down a completely new path, jot them down for later reference and get back to what is in front of you.  

I've been trying this idea since I read this a few weeks ago, and it seems to work.  At the computer, I just open a quick note to write down the thought then bury the window.  During more open time, I revisit the notes and file them away.  Most are "nice to do" type ideas anyway, so they go in that folder. 

4 Comment(s)

Fred said:


Effective and essential for anyone that live of their ideas or just care of them.

It's marvelous to see how brain can process old conscious things in background (unconsciously). And it's even more interesting to see how they come back at any time, just for fun, or because you unconsciously sensed a thing that trigged the reactions (like an image, a sound, a smell, etc); the come back of the processed thought.

Brain is an extraordinary thing. When you know his basic behavior than you can work with it. In this example, by carrying a simple notebook.

Thank for this post Mr. Vinson



This was one of my selling points for blogs for PKM (my presentation at ASIS&T in November --
Many bloggers are hung up on properly formatted coherent posts -- maybe it's worth setting up a private blog or blogging in draft mode. If you put the note somewhere else, will you be able to find it again? If you do it in print, you lose context, linking... A document open on your desktop -- do you add on to the bottom of an existing document or start a new one, if so do you save it with a name right away? how do you name it that you'll find it again? Do you end up with lots of little documents that you have to sort through when you are ready to start the next project? Some thoughts.

Jack Vinson said:

Absolutely. I have a bunch of websites opened that I want to blog about, but I haven't found the time to review them and get them into my blog. In the past, they would either vanish when the browser crashed, or I would put them into "favorites" with no context. At least with FireFox, there is a SessionSaver extension that saves some of the pain. There is still a need for me to be willing to give up my own control.

Fred said:

Hello Christina,

Good point. Personally, for blogging purposes I wrote all my posts in a Word document and I put it on my desktop. Then I can have between 2 or 5 posts waiting to be finished, edited and published. Then when I have ideas about these future posts I add it quickly to keep my idea going, without thinking about the grammar, formulation and editing. If I didn’t have my laptop with me, I put my thoughs in my little Moleskine pocket diary and add it to my document when I come back home. After, when I publish the article, I change the name of the file and add the date of the publishing and put the document in a specific folder with the post category’s name.

Why do I use a Word document? Simple, because I only have to copy/past it to my Radio Userland software and the parsing will be done automatically in HTML; I’ll have the same editing on my weblog as the one I have in Word.

It’s how I work for by blogging writing. For now it’s do the job.

I also started a “comment blog” to keep track of my writing on other blogs. It does seem really useful to keep track of conversations and eventually I think that it will be a good source of inspiration… I hope so. There is the link to this experience blog:

Have a good day,



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