April 4, 2017 Life 0

One thing that has been well-documented in journals is the problem in society with the overlap of technology into every aspect of our lives. That doesn’t mean we should downplay the role of technology has had in increasing our productivity and in providing countless hours of entertainment. However, that kind of constant buzzing can have a detrimental effect on your mental wellbeing. To put it in another way, a person can multitask for a short time, but that kind of mental focus has a high cost. The thing about multitasking is that it actuality isn’t possible. What actually happens is a perpetual switch between one task and the other – never giving either task 100% of our attention. Not only does this have a high energy cost, it results in a lapse in overall quality of both projects.

Technology provides the ultimate multitasking experience. For better or for worse.

Of course, this constant multitasking is only damaging in the long run if you constantly engage in it without stopping or relief. Which is where psychology can come in.

People are like buckets, only able to concentrate on so much at a time. If you put too much in a bucket, you get overflow, water spilling all over – making a huge mess. Don’t let your life be a huge mess – take a break from multitasking to let the bucket empty before you go doing more. (I could go all day with the comparisons.)

So even though it is probably not possible to stop multitasking altogether (I write as I watch a show), we need to allow some time for our minds to have a breather.

Active steps

My suggestion is one you probably are sick of hearing – Take a break! Even just 5 minutes of time away from any kind of multitasking is proven to have a significant impact on task performance.

My full recommendation would be to take the time to talk to someone. A significant other, a stranger on the bus, a pigeon in the park, or perhaps someone who can put you on the path to a productive life. Perhaps someone who has spent the better part of their life formulating experimentally sound mental practices can help with such a goal. *Hint Hint*

Ignoring my shameless plug, it really is in your best interests to either a) implement a self-regulated strategy in performance enhancement (aka unplugging for 5 minutes a day), or b) seek out a mental health professional so you can discuss strategies for healthy multitasking or at the very least find an impartial listener. Trust me, I’m a psychologist-in-training.

 

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