Apparently if you can finish reading this blog article start to finish, you will get more done in the day. According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, the often heralded act of multi-tasking actually ends up costing us time instead of saving it.
David Meyer, a researcher at the University of Michigan, explains how this process works. “Whether people toggle between browsing the Web and using other computer programs, talk on cell phones while driving, pilot jumbo jets or monitor air traffic, they’re using their ‘executive control’ processes — the mental CEO — found to be associated with the brain’s prefrontal cortex and other key neural regions such as the parietal cortex. These interrelated cognitive processes establish priorities among tasks and allocate the mind’s resources to them. For each aspect of human performance — perceiving, thinking and acting — people have specific mental resources whose effective use requires supervision through executive mental control,” says Meyer.
Meyer did a study with Joshua Rubinstein of the Federal Aviation Administration and Jeffery Evans of the University of Michigan to monitor how the brain performs when multi-tasking. According to the study, “subjects lost time when they had to switch from one task to another, and time costs increased with the complexity of the tasks, so it took significantly longer to switch between more complex tasks. Time costs also were greater when subjects switched to tasks that were relatively unfamiliar. They got ‘up to speed’ faster when they switched to tasks they knew better, an observation that may lead to interfaces designed to help overcome people’s innate cognitive limitations.”
Do you answer emails, chat with suppliers, track your profits on Quickbooks, and watch the news all at the same time? Give your brain a break by tuning into one project at a time. You’ll find you will have accomplished a lot more at the end of your workday and will increase online business too.