The Real Harm in Multitasking

You’ve probably heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. It has been found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. Researchers have found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

Frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organising their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked lowered their IQ. Cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.

Learning from Multitasking

If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. 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.

So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.

Reference Dr Travis Bradberr