# Effective workflow should break tasks down by attention types
Effective tool circumvents human limits, therefore we have to understand what limit we are faced with if we want to make a workflow more effective. Especially in a creative work, Only one type of attention can be given to one thing at one time. Given the limit of attention we have, an effective workflow should break task down into smaller chunks by different attention types.
Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (p. 60).
The good news is that we can train ourselves to stay focused on one ting for longer if we avoid multitasking, remove possible distractions and separate different kinds of tasks as much as possible so they will not interfere with each other. This too is not just a question of having the right mindset, but, equally important, of how we organise our workflow. A lack of structure makes it much more challenging to stay focused for extended periods of time. The slip-box provides not only a clear structure to work in, but also forces us to shift our attention consciously as we can complete tasks in reasonable time before moving on to the next one.
- Zettelkasten splits tasks to use different attention types
- The process of writing consists of various different kind of activities. These activities needs their own type of attention. Researching for materials, for example, requires a different kind of attention than proofreading. Researching or connecting ideas will require us to be more playful, while proofreading or copy-editing will require us to be more analytical. We can't seem to be able to be playful and analytical at the same time (Only one type of attention can be given to one thing at one time). The switch from one attention to another is easier when you have a well-defined workflow. Zettelkasten embodies this workflow and make sure that the tasks are split to use both kind of attentions (Effective workflow should break tasks down by attention types).