I like to think of myself as the master of multitasking. Realistically, I may not be a “master” per se, but I do it a lot, and it has become a standard part of my work process. Of course, just like everyone else, I sometimes try to do too much at one time, get overwhelmed and have to step back and regroup. But it’s a periodic and short-lived problem, and most of the time, I am multitasking away. I can’t imagine working differently.
But not everyone feels this way. In fact, there are numerous articles out there on multitasking and how it not only hurts productivity, but also can damage your health.
According to “The Autumn of the Multitaskers” in The Atlantic, multitasking dumbs us down, increases stress and ages us prematurely. They stated in their column that they were driving on the highway and was trying to open a picture message on their phone. While they’re head was down for about only 5 seconds, they weren’t watching the road. They almost got into an accident with an eighteen wheeler, but swerved fast enough to where they weren’t in any harm, but caused the eighteen wheeler to turn over onto its side from having to drive defensively. They called it “The Multitasking Crash”.
Personally that just tells me not to be on my phone when I am driving; which in San Antonio, Texas is against the Law. So I know for a fact that I won’t multitasking while driving.
The “American Psychological Association” says that multitasking costs us extra time when we switch from one task to another, especially when the complexity of the tasks increases.
Rule activation itself takes significant amounts of time, several tenths of a second -- which can add up when people switch back and forth repeatedly between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem more efficient on the surface, but may actually take more time in the end. According to “American Psychological Association”, this insight into executive control may help people choose strategies that maximize their efficiency when...