Postpone important tasks if you’re distracted or haven’t slept or eaten well.
Research suggests that people’s biases are more likely to take over when they don’t have the time or mental capacity to really think things through. And few things harm your mental capacities like divided attention, poor sleep, or bad nutrition.
So unless you enjoy racking up regrets, limit your multitasking to the more mundane activities on your to-do list. And save your important work — like preparing a big presentation, delivering tough feedback, planning a new strategy, or making personnel decisions — for when you’re well-rested and have remembered to eat a sandwich. Also, consider the time of day: Our minds are typically sharper in the morning and right after lunch.
Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias.