Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do You Multitask? Is It Good or Bad?



I have recently been working on honing in my focus on one thing at a time and eliminating distractions. This theme has led me to information about multitasking and that performing more than one thing at a time, is not as beneficial as some of us may have been taught. The more things that you can do at once, equals the more things that you can do, is a statement that I remember hearing during my youth.

This small statement is actually not true based on some scientific studies. Multitasking can do more harm than good, by changing the way that your brain reacts during tests and also by making it easier for one to become easily distracted more frequently.

Read an excerpt below from a CNN.com article written in 2009 entitled, "Drop that Blackberry! Multitasking may be harmful". Click the title to be taken to the full article.


Specifically, heavy multitaskers are more easily distracted by irrelevant information than those who aren't constantly in a multimedia frenzy, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

One reason may be because the multitaskers tend to retain the distracting information in their short-term memory, which affects their ability to focus, compared with people who don't check their e-mail while talking on the phone and sneaking in some online shopping.

"This study adds to a growing body of literature that says, in general, that multitasking is going to be problematic for people, that it does compromise productivity, and that its consequences can be quite severe in situations like driving," says David W. Goodman, M.D., the director of the Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Center of Maryland, in Baltimore, who was not involved in the research.

**Are you a multitasker? Did this article inspire you want to reconsider your approach to performing tasks?**

Another interesting article about multitasking.

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