The ups and downs of multitasking
We all do multitasking. You are probably doing it now. It is part of modern life. But is it an efficient way of doing things? Is it good for us?
The answer is not simple. It seems that it depends on what the different activities are, and also on your attitude, or motivation.
The word “multitasking” first appeared in the 1960s. With the computer age came many opportunities to multitask, day and night, at work and at home. Then smartphones made it possible to multitask even more more.
Multitasking has advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that we feel we are getting a lot done, and maybe we are. A disadvantage is that dividing up your time between different things might mean that we aren’t doing any of them very well.
The University of Michigan did a study on multitasking. The study found that participants who believed that they were multitasking were more engaged and performed better than the participants who thought they were doing a single task. Of course, this doesn’t mean that multitasking is good for us. Another study described the neurological changes caused by doing many things at one time.
Multitasking is here to stay. The question now is how best to manage it and organise our work, life, studies and personal projects in a stress-free and sustainable way.