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Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking

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Multi-Tasking

Presenter

Robin Boudette, Ph.D.

We’re a society of proud multi-taskers. For more than a couple of decades, it’s been a business badge of honor to be able to juggle a bunch of different tasks and projects at once. Problem is, research has determined that what feels like progress forward, is actually taking us a step or two, back. 

The brain simply cannot multi-task. So everything that we think we’re managing concurrently, is actual standing in line, in a serial process. Neuroscience also tells us that there is a severe switching-cost to multi-tasking. This is caused in part by mental blindness, and it actually destroys 30% to 50% of our productivity. It turns out that paying close attention to one task at a time (i.e. single-tasking) is a much more effective and more productive way to work.   

 

It’s hard to break the multi-tasking habit, especially in a world that rewards task-switching with little shots of dopamine. But it’s important to break the cycle - and retraining the brain to direct and sustain attention through mindfulness is a really effective way to get there.

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