Do you want to be more productive? Take care of your brain and don't lose gray matter 😱
by KAT RIOS·
- 5 min read -
How often do you surprise yourself multitasking? If you're like me, then I'm sure the answer is the big part of your day. It sounds familiar to you to be writing an email while answering a call or answering 3 WhatsApp messages at the same time. Or at home, when you are somehow washing a dish, while answering a call from your mother and simultaneously answering your son who can't find his socks. You may even have gotten into the habit of "interactive multitasking": see EMILY IN PARIS on TV while aimlessly scrolling through Instagram on your phone, jumping between the two as the mood takes you.
It may seem like you're multitasking, but you're actually rapidly switching your focus and attention between tasks. So you're jumping between that email and your colleague, or shifting your focus back and forth between the sink and your mom. This jumping back and forth is called rapid task switching . it has been the focus of research by many cognitive psychologists, particularly looking at its impact on productivity.
From a productivity standpoint, a lot of research is against multitasking. Although you may feel like you're moving faster and more efficiently, some research suggests you're actually slowing down as response time slows when you shift, reflecting in brain patterns. In some cases, it is believed to be more distracting and can even cause stress.
Interactive multitasking in particular gets a bad rap, because simultaneous texting, TV, and Instagram can disrupt your ability to pay attention, thereby affecting your your memory. And according to studies, a higher level of interactive multitasking is associated with a lower gray matter density in the anterior cerebral cortex (the part of the brain associated with empathy, impulse control, emotions, and decision making). )
Oh Mother! Now I'm starting to understand everything hahahaha!!
However, it is important to consider multitasking in context. While learning to fully focus on something and achieve a state of flow can be hugely beneficial (especially in work contexts), the things that pull us in several different directions at any given time are often out of our control.
More specifically, there are scenarios where task switching can actually enhance , not inhibit, the mind. By jumping between tasks, you can give yourself time to think about a problem you're stuck on and unlock it when you're not looking directly at it. There's even some emerging evidence that multitasking can increase mental activity and thus potentially boost creativity.
The answer, then, is to watch out for the pitfalls of multitasking. If you're having a stressful day and trying to do everything at once, you're likely to self-sabotage and burn yourself out, which will only compound any anxiety. Likewise, if you have no choice but to somehow do two things at once, that's hardly going to be the death of your brain.
The most important thing to figure out is why you're multitasking in the first place and let your motivation guide you as to whether it's a concern or something to reflect on. Focusing entirely on one thing at all times feels impossible: Many of us are committed to multiple fronts and deadlines that shape our work and social lives. But by acknowledging why you're doing it and how it makes you feel—efficient, groggy, out of control—you can shape how you respond to it, whether that means leaving your phone in another room for two hours or just accepting that you want to. channel two screens at your eyes at once today, even if it's not the best idea. You choose!
We would love to know what team are you from? The kind that focuses on a single goal from start to finish or the kind that jumps from task to task trying not to die along the way ;)
Happy Tuesday AAINERS
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