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Brain and Multitasking

Brain and Multitasking

Hey guys in this article we'll talk about Brain and Multitasking....
When you try to do two things at once, you can't or won't do either well. If you think multitasking is an effective way to get more done, you've got it backward. It's an effective way to get less done.
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Right now, you might be reading this article while clicking around the internet, watching the news on TV or brushing your teeth. You're trying to save time by doing multiple things at once. But multitasking is lie.
It's a lie because nearly everyone accepts it as an effective thing to do. It's become so mainstream that people actually think it's something they should do, and do as often as possible.
We not only hear talk about doing it, we even hear talk about getting better at it. More than six million web pages offer answer on how to do it, and career websites list "multitasking" as a skill for employees to target for prospective hires to list as a strength.
Some have gone so far as to be proud of their supposed skill and have adopted it as a way of life. But the truth is multitasking is neither efficient nor effective. In the world of result, it will fail every time.And for some reason in today's society, doing just one thing at a time seems downright wasteful.But you’re actually wasting time by multitasking.
I doubt you’ll remember anything from this video if you're doing something else right now. Stop and focus.
So...Why does multitasking cause a loss of speed, accuracy and wisdom? It goes back to the limitations of our brain's deliberate system.
While we might think we're processing tasks in parallel, our deliberate system is actually rapidly switching our attention between each activity.
And when you switch from one task to another, it always takes some time to start a new task and restart the one you quit, and there's no guarantee that you'll ever pick up exactly where you left off.
An interesting explanation comes from Sophie Leroy, a business professor at the University of Minnesota. In 2009's paper, titled, "Why Is It So Hard to Do My Work?"
Leroy introduced an effect she called attention residue. The problem this research identifies is that when you switch from task A to task B, your attention doesn't immediately follow.
A residue of your attention remains stuck thinking about the original task.
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Even if you finish task A before moving on to task B, your attention still remains divided for a while. Only by working on a single task for a long time without switching, you can minimize the negative impact of attention residue from other obligations, allowing you to maximize performance on this one task.
So let's say you're writing an article for your job. You're fully focused on your work and you're nearing completion. Suddenly one of your co-workers comes by your desk to discuss a business problem.
While this interaction might seem harmless, it actually left a huge dent on your attention. Now when you go back to writing that article, your focus will remain divided, and you won't be able to fully concentrate, simply because you'll also be thinking about that interaction.
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A study of Microsoft employees found that after they were interrupted by an email, it took them fifteen minutes to fully regain their train of thought, whether they replied to the email or not. Fifteen minutes. Just multiply the number of interruptions you get in your average day, and you begin to see why it might not be good for your productivity to be constantly interrupted.
First you have to switch, and then you have to reorient yourself for whatever you're about to do. The cost in terms of extra time from having to task switch depends on how complex or simple the tasks are.
It can range from time increases of 25 percent to well over 100 percent for very complicated tasks. So what does this have to do with multitasking?
It explains that we're unable to fully focus at two tasks simultaneously and we have to keep switching between them, leaving us with attention residue.
Multitasking more frequently doesn't make you better at it either. In fact, habitual multitaskers have been found to take longer to switch between tasks than occasional multitaskers. Perhaps because they've lost the knack of focusing for any
length of time.
And ironically, research suggests that people who are most confident in their ability to multitask are in fact the worst at it.
In the summer of 2009, Clifford Nass set out to find out how well so called multitaskers, multitasked.
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Nass, who was a professor at Stanford University, said that he had been jealous of multitaskers
and deemed himself to be a poor one.
So he and his team of researchers gave 262 students questionnaires to determine how often they multitasked. They divided their test subjects into two groups of high and low multitaskers and began with the presumption that the frequent multitaskers would perform better. They were wrong.
They were outperformed on every measure. Although they'd convinced themselves and the world that they were great at it, there was just one problem.
To quote Nass, "Multitaskers were just lousy at everything." But people can actually do two things at once, such as walk and talk, or chew gum and read a map.
What we can't do is FOCUS on two things at once. Our attention bounces back and forth.
Unlike our brain's deliberate system, the automatic system is capable of parallel processing. So if one of your tasks truly requires no conscious thought from you, it's possible to do something else at the same time.
Driving a car is often cited as a good example of an automatic task, which is why we're able to chat with a passenger at the same time as driving along quiet stretches of road where nothing surprising happens.
But as soon as that simple task becomes more complex, if say another car pulls out suddenly in front of you, driving is no longer an automatic task.
It requires conscious attention from our deliberate system. And at that point, we can't chat and react safely to the changing situation in front of us.
That's why one of in every five serious crashes is caused by a distracted driver. As you can see multitasking can even be fatal.
We fully expect pilots and surgeons to focus on their jobs to the exclusion of everything else. We accept no arguments and have no tolerance for anything, but total concentration from these professionals.
So...Why are we still trying to multitask? Stop thinking it’s more efficient. Because it’s not. Stop Internet surfing during phone calls, reading during meals, chatting while writing. Do one thing at a time.
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By Kyle Rout.


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