Zeigarnik Effect


Tendency of incomplete tasks to dominate one’s attention when one has moved onto another task.


“This effect, which is named for the experimental work of the early-twentieth-century psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, describes the ability of incomplete tasks to dominate our attention. It tells us that if we simply stop what we’re doing at five p.m. and declare, ‘I’m done with work until tomorrow,’ you’ll likely struggle to keep your mind clear of professional issues, as the many obligations left unresolved in your mind will, as in Bluma Zeigarnik’s experiments, keep battling for your attention throughout the evening (a battle they’ll often win).” (153, Deep Work)


Deep Work by Cal Newport

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