If you look around, you may think that multi-tasking is the new trend. People are texting while walking, talking on the phone while driving, or doing something with their smartphones while eating. For many of us, it may seem that multi-tasking is the key towards achieving more things at a limited amount of time. But experts think otherwise.

High Media Multi-Taskers Aren’t Better Than Low Multi-Taskers

In a research conducted at Stanford University, it shows that high media multi-taskers, that is, those who switch from one task to another involving electronic devices, perform poorly in a series of tests given by researchers.

The series of tests given to two groups - the high and low multi-taskers is done to find out if multi-taskers are good in one or several areas. But the tests revealed that high media multi-taskers don’t possess any ‘gift.’ In fact, the tests showed that this group finds it harder to focus on the essentials and are easily distracted. They are no better than low multi-taskers as they score poorly in the tests.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Multi-Task

Why You Shouldn’t Try Multi-Tasking

Whether you’re a chronic multi-tasker or just about to embrace the myth of multi-tasking, here are good reasons why you should quit it or not even think of getting started with it.

1. Multi-tasking lowers your IQ.

When you multi-task you are forcing your brain to work harder than before. It slows down your brain and lowers your IQ. In a study done at the University of London, it shows that those who multi-tasked while working on cognitive tasks suffer from a drop in IQ. It has the same effect after one has smoked marijuana or scrimp on sleep.

2. It slows you down.

A common myth around multi-tasking is that it makes you achieve more things. But a study reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that it took longer for students to solve complicated math problems when they have to switch to other tasks.

Multi-tasking slows you down especially if you switch between tasks that use the same part of the brain.

3. It affects your mood.

If you compare the usual mood of people working in cities and in rural areas, you can see that people in the metro are more irritable than those in the rural areas. This can be due to the fact that people in cities tend to multi-task more.

When you try to do different things at the same thing, you are causing chemical changes in your brain. This increases the level of the stress hormone cortisol. An increased level of this hormone predisposes a person to aggressiveness and impulsiveness.

4. It reduces your productivity.

Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking doesn’t boost your productivity; it does the opposite. When you’re switching between tasks, you’re more likely to commit mistakes especially if the tasks involve a lot of critical thinking. This means spending more time on a task that you could have done at a shorter span of time only if you have opted to single-task.

5. It makes you less effective.

You may be able to get more things done when you multi-task but you aren’t doing them as well as when you single-task. In a study done by the University of Utah, it reveals that talking on mobile phone even if it’s a hands-free one can cause an impairment similar to what one experiences while driving with .08 blood alcohol level.

Breaking the Multi-Tasking Myth

Multi-tasking is a myth. It doesn’t make you a better worker as it affects your productivity, effectiveness, and concentration. Worse, it affects your mood which consequently affects the way you relate to others. There’s no any other way to break the multi-tasking myth than make a conscious effort to single-task.

Single-tasking doesn’t mean that you get rid of distracting thoughts. It simply encourages you to ‘park’ the distracting thoughts somewhere else, it can be in a notebook or your phone, so you can concentrate on the more important task on hand.

Focusing on one task at a time can be a challenge especially in a fast-paced society. But another good strategy to help you single-task is by learning to say ‘no’. As humans, we have this tendency to overestimate our time and capabilities to the point of spreading ourselves too thinly.

You can also boost your concentration by taking food supplements that help improve blood circulation. Supplements like ageBgon help fight the effects of aging by improving blood flow, reducing cholesterol level, and improves the negative effects of chronic diseases like diabetes.

References:
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/10/08/multitasking-damages-your-brain-and-career-new-studies-suggest/#327d6bc12c16
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1205669/Is-multi-tasking-bad-brain-Experts-reveal-hidden-perils-juggling-jobs.html
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20707868_4,00.html
http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/why-you-should-not-multitask/article.aspx
http://time.com/money/3892931/stop-multitasking-and-start-singletasking/

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