When there are so many things to do and not enough time in the day to do them, we tend to fall victim to trying to juggle everything all at once. Yes, we are all guilty of multitasking. After all, who doesn’t? However, could multitasking actually harm your brain? What exactly happens to your brain when you multitask? In this blog post, we will answer these questions for you by showing you what happens to your brain when you multitask.
What Happens to Your Brain When You Multitask?
Reduced Attention Span
When you are multitasking, your brain is forced to divide its attention between all of the tasks that you are completing. This causes your brain to utilize various parts of your brain in order to divert its attention to properly conduct your tasks. As a result, your attention span is slowly decreasing. In the same way, your brain is simultaneously receiving and processing information when you are conducting a task. Multitasking changes the amount of focus that goes into these processes, causing information to be lost or placed into short-term memory, causing them to be forgotten.
Because multitasking decreases your amount of focus, productivity is also lowered. This derives from a lack of attention to detail to your work, which is caused by a decrease in your attention span. Likewise, multitasking centers on the idea of shifting your focus from one task to another, which hinders your brain’s ability to regain focus after every switch. As a matter of fact, multitasking decreases your level of productivity by 40% and can decrease your IQ by up to 10 points.
Slows Brain Processes
A reduced attention span and a change in your brain processes can slow down your brain processes. Because your brain is plastic, constant multitasking can cause changes in your brain structures. In fact, multitasking causes your brain to encounter problems with filtering information due to the increased activity of switching its focus. In addition, multitasking also slows down your ability to regain its focus after dedicating its attention to various tasks.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when you are tasked with a lot of activities? Multitasking can increase stress due to a variety of factors. For example, a reduction in your attention span can cause frustration in your ability to effectively complete your work. Your brain is generating stress as it tries to divert its attention as you are switching your focus from one task to another. In the same way, a decrease in your productivity level can also produce the same effect.
- Focus on one activity at a time
In order to increase productivity, you need to focus on the tasks that you are completing. In order to achieve this, it is crucial that you are placing your attention on one activity at a time. A tool to help you refrain from multitasking is to set yourself a certain amount of time to perform each task and to take a break after each time is complete. By doing this, you are allowing your brain to regain its focus to conduct your next activity. A refreshed brain is a healthy brain!
- Create a to-do list
Creating a to-do list will help you manage your tasks as well as your help you organize your time. By having predictability on what tasks you are striving to complete, you will decrease the amount of stress that will pile up on you as well as allow your brain to focus on each task.