Are we really that productive by taking on multiple things at the same time? Research says, no.

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Today’s corporate snobs are always busy doing multiple things simultaneously, aka multitasking. But, are we really that productive by taking on multiple things at the same time? Research says, no. Human brain can divide resources easily and equally for two tasks, but it faces difficulty while doing more than two tasks at a time. That means, the more we delve into multitasking, the less productive we become. The human brain is incapable of performing numerous tasks without memory and productivity loss.

If brain’s functions divide into multiple tasks at the same time, its working process becomes slower. The more multitasking the brain has to handle, the more pressure brain have to take, hence the less result will come out. But, scientists are still working out the impacts of multitasking on human brain, as well as its impact on mental health and productivity.

Professor Emily Elliott of Louisiana State University, along with doctoral candidate Alicia Briganti, has conducted four experiments with the local second-graders and LSU psychology students. Both the local second-graders and LSU psychology students were instructed to wear a headphone and remember some words in the correct sequence that were shown to them on a computer screen. While the participants were reading the words, at the same time they could hear (pronunciation) those words. But sometimes, they heard unrelated words in the headphones. This was done intentionally and it was a part of professor’s experiment.

Professor found that word recall performance of adults diminished 10% on average and performance of second-graders’ dropped 30% on average. The test showed that both the local second-graders and LSU psychology students were distracted by unrelated words of headphones which reduced their ability to read and memorize words.

Emily Elliott said, “The research that I have done and that I have read indicates that multitasking comes at a price, even though the person may be unaware. The costs are typically shown in an overall slower time to finish a task, and/or increased rate of errors.”

Multitasking is stressful. Long term stress can have serious health impacts. In fact, multitasking diminishes a person’s focus and productivity.

Source : IT World

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  On September 19, 2012(1 year, 10 months ago.)

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