Trading multitasking for monotasking: Can you do it?
I recently came across this fascinating article on Tim Elmore's blog about the unintended consequences of multitasking and had to share. He says that even though busy people think multi-tasking is helpful, he warns that multi-tasking actually makes us shallow, fuzzy, distracted, and unclear. This is of particular concern with students who have grown up multi-tasking as a result of cell phones and social media.
MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller is quoted in the article saying that our brains are, "not wired to multitask well . . . when people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.” Elmore also shares a study from the University of London that found that multi-tasking lowers your IQ.
Elmore ends the article by challenging readers to try mono-tasking. Thats right, focusing on just ONE thing at a time and be more mindful as you are doing that single task. As a queen of multitasking, I am not sure I will be able to pull this one off... To be honest, I was multi-tasking as I wrote this article!
One last fun exercise for you: When researching mono-tasking, I found this fun New York Times article. Can you read it without getting distracted?