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Multitasking Worse Than Sleeplessness, But Power Hour Focuses Productivity

Recent research has shown that not only is multitasking detrimental to productivity, it lowers effective IQ more than skipping a night of sleep. Multitasking is extremely common in the American workplace, with approximately 70 percent of workers reporting difficulty focusing on one project at a time.

Forbes contributor Vanessa Loder, founder and CEO of Lean In, suggests performing a "power hour" of productivity, working in short blocks of time followed by periods of rest to maximize productivity. To perform a "power hour":

1. Reserve between 75 and 90 minutes during the part of the day in which you feel most productive, and locate your to-do list.

2. Get rid of potential distractions, including email, phone and any other tools or devices that could vie for your attention.

3. Spend 20 uninterrupted minutes on the most important to-do list item. Use only applications or tools vital to the activity.

4. Take a two minute break.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

6. Repeat step 3.

7. Take a 10 minute to 15 minute break completely unrelated to work.

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