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Multitasking Is Neither Productive, Nor Conducive To Focus

Substantial evidence shows that multitasking is neither productive, nor conducive to focus.  In fact, you may have read on this site that multitasking can actually be harmful to your brain.  Click here to read a post about its harmful effects.  This excerpt written by Sally Augustin (Phd) for Psychology Today looks into the reasons why people persist to multitask, even though it’s common knowledge that it is only counter productive.

Multitasking is Neither Productive, Nor Conducive To Focus

MultitaskingA slew of studies show that when humans multi-task their performance on the things that they’re doing is not as good as it would be if they did each separately. People use their immense powers of creativity to find ways to use spaces and the stuff in them to do several things at the same time – often with hilarious and sometimes with tragic results. Why do even people who’ve read the multi-tasking research persist in multi-tasking?

Research recently conducted by Prof. Zheng Wang and John Tchernev (both from The Ohio State University), sheds new light on the answer to that question. They learned that multi-tasking feels good. The researchers found “that multitasking often gave . . . an emotional boost, even when it hurt . . . cognitive functions, such as studying. ‘There’s this myth among some people that multitasking makes them more productive,’ said Zheng Wang . . . ‘But they seem to be misperceiving the positive feelings they get from multitasking. They are not being more productive – they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.’” [quotes from a press release from The Ohio State University]

View the original source of the article here

So we know that multitasking is neither productive nor conducive to focus but people continue to indulge as it ‘feels good’.  The emotional satisfaction would appear to be a false sense of satisfaction, or at least misunderstood.  Maybe one way to determine if you’re actually being productive is to take a step back half way through your day, or at the end of the day to see what you’ve actually achieved.   If you’ve just cleared a load of emails from your inbox or dealt with your expenses, then it may be an indicator that your feeling of satisfaction may not be warranted!


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