Stop multitasking

The idea of me writing about time management seems like a joke.  But then again, maybe I’m actually well-suited to the task: I need all the artificial props I can muster to keep myself on task.  Even a bad runner can win a race with a bicycle.  I’ll share a few of my tricks with you, starting with how to stop yourself from multitasking.

It can be tempting to multitask. Student listening to music while on the computerIt’d be nice to say that this is because we’re good at it, but those of us who feel the temptation most strongly are probably the worst at it.   That’s because the ones who end up multitasking the most are those with lower executive control and higher impulsivity, which makes them have trouble resisting a second task (Sanbonmatsu et al. 2013).  At the same time, these people find it harder to actually do what multitasking requires: rapid switching between tasks (Banich 2009).  The students you see in the library with one window open to a music video and another open to a journal article might think they’re being efficient, but they’re probably the ones who will suffer the most from what they’re doing. Continue reading “Stop multitasking”