Everyone is in a hurry somewhere in modern society: work, rest, think, bring children, and hurry to live. Certainly, there is not much time to deal with everything and do it on a high level, which is why we learn to live in the mode of multitasking. We manage to bring children while working over a phone, make a deal while cooking, and even work being on vacation. There is always a comparison with Julius Cesar at hand or a many handed Indian God Shiva who were good at dealing with a few things at once. There is an opposing opinion: everyone knows how they say that haste makes waste. Who is right, Cesar`s followers or adepts of popular wisdom?
Short answer? Kind of.
In order to find out if multitasking is useful, scientists from British Stanford made an experiment in London University. Students were divided into two categories: those who consider themselves multitaskers who easily do many tasks at the same time and those who prefer to focus on one task. Results were not unexpected: those who do one task only managed better because they did not spread themselves too thin while multi taskers faced problems with bolting of irrelevant information and self-organization. Effectiveness of accomplished work in multitask mode is approximately the same as people who had enough sleep.
Multitasking procrastination is an unforgivable sin. More than a half of office workers check personal email and social networks regularly at work distracting from it. At that, 63% of those asked during Internet surfing lose thoughts and forget ideas.
Other British scientists from Sussex University with help of magnetic tomography and questionnaire survey jumped to a conclusion that using a few gadgets at once such as tablets, smartphones, notebooks, along with watching TV and reading does not only increase labor productivity but also reduce density of gray substance in the cingulate cortex of brain. This part of brain bears responsibility for cognition function of accomplishment and emotion control. Consequences of its oppression are angst, depression, minimal brain damage. Admit it, browsing through Instagram is not worthy such consequences.
Needless to say, to distract from work sometimes is useful because it gives brains a chance to rest let alone one`s eyes. It is even advised to rest every hour for 10 minutes working with a computer. However, The best kind of rest is to change a kind of activity instead of staring into the monitor. 10 minutes is a perfect length to go out as a warm up.
Internet is not the only reason why we get distracted but personal phone calls and too talkative co-workers. George Martin, the author of Games Of Thrones in order to overcome Internet procrastination uses an original method – a “writer`s” computer working on MS DOS. No Internet helps a writer to dive into writing totally without being distracted to email, different sites and messengers. There is an interesting method called Pomodoro developed in the year 1992 by Italian student Francesco Cirillo. It is about work in 25 minutes long cycles with 5-minute long breaks, making a prolonged break every 4 cycles, for 10-20 minutes. It is called this way due to Cirillo to use a kitchen timer in the form of a tomato.
In case there are a few tasks ahead of you, do not combine them. It will lead to further mess only. Start with the most interesting task; it will stimulate you to do the rest out of the list. Get rid of multitasking at your leisure time just as well. If back in the days, a person were coming to a restaurant, ordered a dish, ate it, now Instagram with its compulsory shooting of each dish and Twitter with check-ins wedged in this simple process. Meanwhile, the food is getting cold…
The more diverse a human`s activity is, the less negative consequences anthropogenic atrophy brings for a brain. Do you want to have a rest? Read a book instead of using a gadget, draw or do a crossword puzzle. Your brain is going to be grateful to you.
Radical method is internet pop locks. Having a will power, a simple application to a browser saves you from an attention diffusion.