I‘ve always multi-tasked. If I don’t have at least 2-3 things going on at the same time I’m downright slovenly and/or unproductive. Somewhere in my ADD brain I think I’m getting so much more accomplished. Besides it’s boooooorrrrrring to do one thing at a time – right?
Even researchers thought high multitaskers were going to be stars with at least one ability:
- Filtering input and get rid of irrelevancy.
- Switching from one task to another.
- Keeping memory neatly organized.
However, in the words of Clifford Nash, one of the researchers:
“We were absolutely shocked . . . It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.”
” . . . They get distracted constantly. Multitaskers are very disorganized in keeping their memory going so that we think of them as filing cabinets in the brain where papers are flying everywhere and disorganized, much like my office.” (And mine.)
“. … And the truth is, virtually all multitaskers think they are brilliant at multitasking. And one of the big new items here, and one of the big discoveries is, you know what? You’re really lousy at it. And even though I’m at the university and tell my students this, they say: “Oh, yeah, yeah. But not me! I can handle it. I can manage all these,” which is, of course, a normal human impulse. So it’s actually very scary. …
OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!
So Ryan Dambach’s post Developing-Present-Moment-Awareness came just at the right time. As a matter of fact I’m reading it as I type. I recommend you read it too.
Click here to read the complete interview of Clifford Nass, professor at Stanford University and the founder and director of the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab.
Here’s another interesting article: Multitasking Splits the Brain OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!