You may feel like you have no choice but to multi-task throughout the day to stay on top of your responsibilities and manage your team, but there's plenty of compelling evidence to the contrary.
Here are a few ways being more present at work is the real key to optimal performance.
You'll feel less stressed
Small changes make a big difference in where you focus your attention, even if you feel your day is ruled by distractions.
For a few days, commit to keep the multi-tasking tools you normally keep close at hand out of sight and mind. Put your smartphone in your bag or desk drawer instead of in your pocket or near your computer; leave it in your office when you attend meetings.
Turn off your computer screen when employees come to your office for meetings.
Try to schedule meetings away from computers and avoid meeting rooms with windows, whenever possible.
Ask people who stop by your office to have a quick chat if they can instead schedule a 10-minute meeting with you, so you can give them your full attention. Hold yourself to the same policy, if you have a tendency to pop in on your staff to ask questions.
All of these shifts are small, but you may be surprised at how significantly they affect your perception of the pace and pressure your workday entails.
You'll be less inclined to trivial exchanges
How many times have you lost several minutes of your day because you were sucked into a group e-mail conversation or after-hours text that generated little in the way of meaningful or productive outcomes?
Behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk, who writes a column for Psychology Today, recently wrote that the brain chemical dopamine is the biological reason we continue futile exchanges over e-mail and text message.
She explains that though dopamine is one of the brain's "feel good" chemicals, it seeks continuous pleasure. When we respond to stimuli that offer immediate gratification (like instant chat, text message or e-mail), our brain gets a boost of dopamine. That release can make us feel like we're productive, but only for a moment.
That's because one dopamine release initiates a feedback loop of sorts that seeks more of the same. As a result, it's hard to disengage from pointless e-mails and text messages, even when we know they waste time and distract from important tasks.
You'll feel happier with your job
Your attitude at work affects how your team collectively feels about their job, purpose and performance. The more present you are at work, the more likely you are to be happy, regardless of what you're doing.
A few years ago, Harvard University researcher Matt Killingsworth invented a free app called Track Your Happiness, and wrote about the results for the journal Science.
Used by more than 15,000 people across the globe, his app sent random messages that asked people to report what they were doing at any given time, and to rate how happy they were doing it.
The results revealed that how immersed a person is in a task directly correlates to whether they feel happy doing it, even if the task is unpleasant.