As babies, we’re encouraged to master one task at a time. Sitting up, crawling, and then walking. In school, we focus on one subject at a time, devoting our energy to that until it’s time for the next class.

This makes it all the more strange that multitasking has become a source of pride for many adults, who list all the tasks they’re working on at once as if each is a badge of honor. But dividing your attention is not the best way to get things done.