Multitasking Uncovered

The most important thing about Multitasking is how it effects and rewires our brains! Our brains are not wired to do multiple tasks at the one time.

Think about how our brains work, they are already really busy with relying information across to where it needs to go, storing information, processing and acting on outside stimulation, processing and acting on inside stimulation and the list goes on. We are constantly thinking at the rate of approximately 70,000 thoughts (conscious and sub-conscious) in one day. That is huge and very energetically taxing. Now think about if we add in the process of doing more than one task at a time, in its already busy state, the brain will get confused and will slow down its processing. As the brain swaps between the different tasks we are trying to complete quickly it will cause our brain to become confused and stressed!

Studies show that the human brain can’t handle more than one task at a time. Even though we think we’re multitasking, our brains are actually switching rapidly between tasks”. (The Myth Of Multitasking, Scientific America. 2009, July).

Our brains are changeable and are constantly changing through our daily activities. We are able to change the way our brain works by doing repetitive activities, which allows the brain create the new pathways. Think about that and the effect that long-term Multitasking will have on your brain. Through Multitasking we are actually training our brain to not focus on one thing (especially on the smaller details) and our memory (as our brain is switching between tasks it will leave very little time for a memory to be created). Before I began my no-multitasking mission, I was beginning to notice that I was forgetting things and I thought that my memory was failing me! This frightened me as it was becoming quite bad that I would put something down in the house and 5 minutes later I could not find it and I would forget play dates or coffee dates I had organized with close friends and family. There was nothing wrong with my memory – the problem was that I was not focusing my attention on one thing! It got to the point when I was talking to friends or family, I was actually thinking about what I had to do later, which meant that my mind was not present, so how could I possibly remember the interaction we had. Unfortunately and fortunately it is through this that we train our brains how to think, react and remember things by the way we engage in current life. So I was actually teaching my brain not to remember as I was not allowing it to focus on any one thing for too long.

This is supported by Dr David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, agrees with another US psychologist Dr John Arden, that when humans multitask too much, they can experience short-term memory problems or difficulty concentrating. Of course, what else would the brain do but what we teach it to do!

As you now know Multitasking causes us to feel stressed and anxious on an emotional level and a Brain level! For example when you are going from here to there for all different tasks you get stressed out, especially when one thing does not go as smoothly as you had imagined. I know I was guilty of this when I was trying to still be a bookkeeper for clients at home and trying to squeeze in the time to get it done in between doing washing, tending to the kids, answering messages and even checking facebook. This caused me great stress as at the end of the day I would say to my husband I feel like I have done nothing all day today, but I have been so busy. Then this thought would cause me more stress as I did not get the work done and the deadline was looming. My next thought was that the same thing was going to happen tomorrow. So as you can see my bookkeeping work ended up being like a huge task when in reality it was only about 8-10 hours a fortnight, but when you break down the work into little chunks it was much longer than that as it would take me twice as long starting and stopping and I felt like I was constantly doing it as I was squeezing it in between everything else.

So once again, we are actually wiring the brain up for stress and anxiety around getting tasks completed, as it does not know how else to process tasks if we are always doing multiple things at the same time!

How can you incorporate more single task activities in your daily routines to allow your brain a chance to think clearer and more concise over the one thing?

This has been a excerpt from my “Ignite Your Possibilities” eCourse, Be More Effective With Your Time section. For more information on this please click here.

Until my next blog enjoy your children.

Signature -Debbie

"SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG"
Receive an update straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared

Related Posts

Leave A Comment

*

Beyond the School Yard

Meditation Made Easy!
Bring Calm & Focus to Your Life