Friday, February 6, 2015

Multitasking: Does it Really Work?

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Ahh yes, you're checking Facebook, your phone, and emailing your mom, but actually you're mainly studying. Are you retaining info for that upcoming test? If so, is it an effective method of doing so? The topic of a Forbes article from last year is titled, "Multitasking Damages Your Brain And Career, New Studies Suggest" It then goes on to say,  "Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail."

If you think about it, you technically can't work on more that one thing at a time. You can only focus on one separate task for a short time before jumping to another. Sometimes this can be nice when you're working on a project, and then you switch it up to do something else for a while. Then, when you come back to that project again, you may feel refreshed or even come back with another idea or two.

There are situations where this technique poses problems; the most obvious/dangerous one being texting and driving. Another would be during class or in a meeting. You know, situations where paying attention is kind of important.

Then the issue becomes what is classified as multitasking? Is it multitasking when you're switching back and forth from your work email to your document at your job? Is it multitasking if you're listening to music and working on a project, while munching on a snack? In the end, they say that any form of multitasking degrades productivity to some degree. Yet, there are plenty of circumstances where multitasking is needed, at least in some form or another. If you struggle with staying focused while studying, they say to put yourself in a situation that will facilitate it, like going to the library.

So the point is, do what works for you! Some of us are prone to get distracted easily (I feel like that's most of us), and some can switch between tasks like a pro, and still ace that test!

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