“(Our brains) are not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”Earl Miller
Life demands multitasking more than ever.
Spend five minutes browsing job postings for most any tech or corporate job and you’ll see a few common requests — able to wear many hats… must multitask well… able to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. It’s unavoidable. Multitasking is no longer a skill, but a requirement.
Whether you work for a start-up company, teach, nurse, or sit in a cubicle — nearly all careers demand the ability to divide your attention daily and complete 10 tasks simultaneously to be deemed ‘good at your job’.
But this illusion of efficiency is actually a shortcut to feeling burnt out and mentally fried. The more you have to do, the less efficient you become. Why?
Multitasking and switching between tasks demands more mental energy than completing each individual task in it’s entirety, and creates a stress-response in the brain. The sum is greater than the parts. Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and a world leader on divided attention, says “(our brains) are not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”
This cognitive cost affects focus, memory, and decision making — with compounding negative effects on your physical and mental well-being.
But multitasking isn’t limited to just work. While writing this blog I received 3 text messages, a Facebook notification (on mobile and desktop), an Instagram notification, 2 emails, and a Twitter update. Whether intended or accidental, micro-multitasking from being married to technology creates a constant pivot in our attention and focus even if we’re trying to stay on-task.
The obvious answer is to ditch your devices and live in the woods. Or maybe look to adaptogens – herbs proven to control wild cortisol levels, buffer against the effects of stress, and improve mental energy by reducing cellular fatigue.
As life demands multitasking more than ever, MultiFocus protects your brain from becoming burnt toast and allows you to thrive in the age of distraction.