SATURDAY 29 FEBRUARY 2020
Multitasking is doing different tasks that require the attention from one part of your brain at the same time. We all know people who brag about being able to listen to someone while answering an email. Or watch television while they are calling and cooking. It could be that I’m describing you?
Unfortunately I have to disappoint you because the brain cannot multitask at all. And it is also not something you can learn. I already hear you saying: “But how is it possible that I can ride a bicycle and talk on the phone at the same time? Or that I can listen to music while jogging? "
Technically, the brain is not multitaskinghere. You do not have to focus for cycling and jogging. These are procedural skills. Skills that you do unconsciously. Skills that give the cerebellum, another part of your brain, a lot of work.
But what exactly does your brain do when you think you are multitasking?
The moment you think you are multitasking, you are actually serial tasking. So your brain is actually constantly switching from one task to another. This results in making more mistakes and forgetfulness. You must have had it once, while you were writing the exact thing that your were telling someone. Or you didn’t remember where you left your keys. I know, I’m also guilty!
Performing both tasks at the same time also means that you cannot focus properly, because it requires a lot of energy from your brain. After all, you are constantly switching from one task to another. Exhausting right! As a result, you achieve less in a day or your brain will be tired the next day.
Another con is feelings of anxiety. Studies have shown that a constant interruptions has this effect on the brain and body. And when we are constantly living in a fearful state our brain and bodies are wired to only access the primitive brain structures. Structures that are designed to keep us safe from danger. So areas like the frontal lobe are excluded. The area that covers our critical thinking, focus and creativity.
But how do you get the best out of your day while radiating your brain?
To be as productive as possible on a day it is important that you do one task at a time and also give it your full attention while you are doing it. You will see that you have completed your task list faster and your brain is less tired. It is also not wrong to take a break of 5 minutes every half hour or a break from 15 minutes every hour. This ensures that you can focus better while doing a task and your brain retains more energy at the end of the day.
Let's meet in the next blogstory ...