Multitasking is a very common practice, and one that many people erroneously think increases their productivity. In reality, multitasking means that you create a situation in which you need to deal with constant interruption … from yourself.
Not only that, but multitasking also makes it necessary to transition back and forth between tasks, often setting you up to lose focus in the process.
Multitasking and Its Impact:
And yet, multitasking is really the coinage of the realm these days. In fact, for many people, if they’re not doing several things at once, they probably feel like they are slacking off! Quite the opposite is actually true, as reflected in a recent article by Bob Sullivan on NBCNews.com titled ”Students can’t resist distraction for two minutes … and neither can you.” It’s a fascinating piece, arguing that the barrage of information and distractions that we experience in our everyday lives has us skating across the surface, rather than going deep.
“There are those people who think that multitasking is simply the way life is now and we should be focusing on getting better at it … that we are a bunch of old fogies who don’t understand,” Paul said. “But scientifically, there is no evidence for that. There are fundamental biological limits to what the brain can pay attention to. This is a problem built into the brain.”
Multitasking, Time, and Our Brains:
And what impact does that have on our experience of our time – and of our lives? This brief video, shared in the article, offers some ideas based on the work of Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains …
Multitasking: Some questions for you to ponder …
- How do you relate to the internet?
- What impact do you see its distractions, large and small, having on your attention, your recollection … and your life?
- Do you ever unplug?
- If you do, how does it feel?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.