multi tasking

Multitasking for the student: good or bad?

We are used to admiring multitaskers so much that on a subconscious level we already perceive this “skill” exclusively as a positive thing. But doesn’t it harm our productivity and the quality of our work? We pondered on this topic and explained why multitasking can be harmful.

What is multitasking

Apparently, multitasking is the ability to do several things at once. You’ve probably heard of the legendary Gaius Julius Caesar, who could write, dictate, and listen at the same time. Of course, we would like to be inspired by his example and manage to do three times as many things, but we still suggest leaving this example in history.

There are two kinds of multitasking: parallel and sequential. With the first, you are, of course, performing several tasks at once (like Julius Caesar). With the second, you switch from one task to another. Even though with sequential multitasking you perform one activity (but one after another), it is hard for the brain to switch to another activity so quickly.

We would call multitasking a 21st-century phenomenon. Modern people have a lot of distractions. For example, how many tabs are open on your computer or windows on your phone right now? Probably several – this already shows that you have to constantly switch from one to the other. Think of the situation when you’re getting ready for class and your phone is bursting with incoming notifications. It’s annoying and it’s almost impossible to concentrate because you constantly want to see what you’ve been texted. By the way, scientists explain the constant desire for distraction by the fact that it provokes the release of dopamine, the hormone of happiness.

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So why is it bad?

The fact is that, in addition to the happiness hormone, multitasking also provokes the release of the stress hormone cortisol. That’s why you can often feel a state of anxiety when your chats are literally exploding with the number of messages.

Cortisol affects many of our body’s processes, from mental performance to muscle density. What’s more, scientists have noted that multitaskers can have IQ levels that drop by as much as 10 points.

Stanford University professor Clifford Nass about 10 years ago experimented with 100 students and proved that the cognitive abilities of those who are engaged in multiple activities in parallel, become like an overslept, that is, very, very low. And all the tests show that multitaskers are worse at analyzing situations and orienting themselves in space.That’s why students, in order to make their lives easier, often think about who write an essay for me by, so that they can concentrate on their major subject.

And what to do?

There is no universal advice. If you really want to preserve your ability to think, to analyze, to reason, then you have to work hard. An analogy can be made with sports: training is always hard, but we force ourselves to do it for the health of the body. The same is true with the problem of multitasking. We’ve noted a few ways that can help you.

Plan things in the evening

Mornings are wiser, of course, but be even wiser and plan the day ahead of time. If you’ve tried to pack your backpack for school in the evening, it probably didn’t take you more than 10 minutes, whereas it takes much longer in the morning. Moreover, in the morning it is especially easy to forget to put the diary or anything else important.

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Use the tomato principle

This is a time management technique that was developed back in the 1980s. The idea is that you start a timer for 25 minutes and a timer for 5 minutes. You spend the longest time on work, and the shortest time on rest or small tasks. But you can also use other time-management techniques, and we’ve written about many of them.

Make a schedule

For example, if you want to read a book, allot yourself half an hour or an hour that you devote exclusively to reading. It’s great if you can do it every day – over time you’ll develop a habit. Of course, we understand that the modern teenager can’t do without scrolling tape, so we suggest it too, to allocate a strictly limited time.

We hope that our material has helped you to understand that it is not necessary to chase the proverbial multitasking. The most important thing is to do your work well and thoughtfully. This is especially important when we’re talking about preparing for exams. Giving up gadgets and other distractions will not be easy, but it’s really necessary.



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