You've heard it before: Those who can balance ten tasks at once are the ones who make it to the top of the working heap. If you can Skype into a conference while responding to e-mails, berating your assistant and disseminating reports to superiors, chances are you've got management written all over you.
But is that really true? Consider a study funded by Hewlett-Packard that found that workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffered an IQ fall nearly twice that of people who smoked marijuana [source: New Atlantis].
Make a rule to turn your attention to materials like invoices, action items and even e-mails only once. Instead of paying bits of attention to several different areas, you might feel less scatterbrained if you take on a task and finish it to completion (or at least until a set time to stop) [source: Bomkamp]. This strategy will also help you keep clutter to a minimum by filing or getting rid of papers right away.