Not only doesn't that work, it's unhealthy!
Ancient Roman Publilius Syrus once said
"To do two things at once is to do neither."
Life has become fast-paced, and it is easy to think multi-tasking is the answer
to the limited hours in a day. But it
does not work. Not only that, it can
be dangerous, as studies show that driving
while talking on a cell phone impairs a driver
as much as if the driver was drunk.
It is also proven that multitasking leads
to increased amount of mistakes due to lack
of focus, which can be significant when entering
medical information into a tablet, putting
together that all important legal defense,
compiling intricate facts for your research
study or spotlighting critical parameters
for your municipal community.
The hard truth is that we cannot multitask at all; we are technically task-switching, rapidly changing focus from one task to another. Our brains cannot operate like a computer, and the effort to change focus can affect productivity by 40%. The time it takes to change focus increases the overall amount of time necessary to spend on a task. Even automatic tasks, such as walking and talking on a phone, become longer.
Multitasking affects memory as well. When multitasking, it has been found that information can be stored in the wrong part of the brain. A study out of Stanford University found that students who studied while watching TV stored the information in the striatum, not the hippocampus, making the information more difficult to retrieve.
Stress and anxiety has been proven to increase with multitasking. Studies show that multitasking elevates the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the brain. It also increases the level of adrenaline, causing scrambled thinking. Heart rate is also influenced by multitasking. In short, multitasking negatively affects our health.
Multitasking causes us to miss out on life due to "inattentional blindness". A study showed 75% of college students who walked across a campus square while talking on their cell phones did not notice a clown riding a unicycle nearby. This lack of attention is also why multitaskers overeat, as they do not pay attention to the feeling of satiety. Additionally, this can also cause a decline in relationships as couples begin to miss the subtle nuances on the face of their partner.
It isn't easy to stop multitasking. The brain can become addicted to finding new tasks, as multitasking creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding itself when finding novel stimulation. To break the pattern, batch tasks together, such as answering emails all at once. Once we stay on a particular task, the brain's central executive mode kicks in and we need less energy and effort to complete a task. Think about the reward of handling each task only once compared to having to focus on it repeatedly. Finally, Transcription Plus, LLC can take over some of the clerical work in your office, freeing you up to focus on the important task at hand.
Contact us here
to see how we can help you gain productivity. Best,
Mary A. Goehring
Transcription Plus, LLC
Cherry, Kendra. "The Cognitive Costs of Multitasking." A Education . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2015.
Levitin, David. "Why the Modern World is Bad for your Brain." The Guardian 18 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 June 2015.
MacMillan, Amanda. "12 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Now!" Health . Web. 21 June 2015.