What is multi-tasking in terms of science and what to do
Productivity / / December 23, 2019
The data processing multitasking - it's not parallel execution of multiple actions. Just in this manner in the processing at the same time there is more than one task. At the same time one task is processed directly, and the other is waiting for their turn. Switching the CPU from one task to another is called a context switch, and the illusion of parallel execution of affairs arises with frequent switching.
Multitasking - this is just an illusion. In fact, we are just over and over again to switch from one case to another.
Our brains simply can not handle more than two complex tasks simultaneously. It is discovered by scientists from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris.
In the time of the experiment, they asked participants to perform two things at once, and watched their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging. It turned out, when both of the two problems brain "forks": activated two portions (two frontal lobes)Divided Representation of Concurrent Goals in the Human Frontal Lobes. .
Then the scientists asked participants to perform three tasks simultaneously. In this case, the participants constantly forget about one of the three tasks, and often wrong. So, even though we can seamlessly switch between the two cases, a greater number of tasks we are no longer under force (simply because we only have two frontal lobes).
Price permanent switching
We switch from one business to another at the expense of the executive functions of the brain. They control the thought processes and determine how, when and in what sequence performed tasks.
execution control occurs in two stages.
- Change goal - a decision to do not one, but another matter.
- Activating a new role - the transition from the rules of the previous problem to the rules of the new task.
Switching between tasks can go a few tenths of a second, but this time gradually accumulated, especially if you frequently switch. In fact, we are working slower.
Of course, sometimes it does not matter: for example, at a time when we are engaged in cleaning and watching TV. But in situations where safety is critical, such as driving, even this fraction of a second can be crucial.
Multitasking reduces productivity
As mentioned above, in the multitasking we simply switch from one case to another. Because of this, we are working more slowly, because every time we have to remember all the information regarding that matter on which we switch. In this case, our brain gets tired more than in the concentrated work on something one. In addition, constantly switching from one to another, we make more mistakes.
Multitasking be distracted
When multitasking becomes a habit, focus on something one becomes very difficult. Usually our brain ignores some of the incoming signals, to reduce the load and all the powers of the decision to devote one problem. But accustomed to multitasking, it starts to get confused and can not always determine what information is considered important and which to ignore.
Multitasking kills willpower
In multitasking mode disperses our attention and decision-making and critical thinking are slowed down. The brain gets tired faster, which affects the strength of will.
Therefore, there is a snowball effect: because of the decline of willpower, we can not do anything and feel miserable and even more negative emotions rob us motivation.
How to return the ability to concentrate
1. Do the most important thing in the morning
In the evening, make a to-do list for the next day and the most important thing to do in the first few hours of the day. Then I do not have all day to think about this important issue and to worry if you still have time.
2. Remove from all distractions
For example, if you usually get distracted by the phone, turn it off until you finish the job. If you spend a lot of time on social networks, or funny videos on YouTube, block these sites.
3. Think strategically
Usually we confuse things to do with urgent. Therefore, we think, and what you need to do everything as quickly as possible and in time as much as possible.
Thinking strategically and planning ahead, you will begin to understand more clearly what is important to you. And knowing that is especially important at a given moment, and completely focused on it, you do a lot more than if you're wasted on a few things at once.
Distracted from work or any other business for a while. For example, use the technique Pomodoro for short breaks during work and be sure to arrange yourself at least one day off per week. To recover and relax, try breathing exercises or meditation, and do not forget about the most important way to relax - a dream.
How to reduce the need for multi-tasking at work
1. Always start with the preparation of
If you take on a new project without the necessary information and a clear plan, you can get stuck in the middle. As often happens, especially when we have not finished one thing, we undertake the following.
2. Reduce the number of open source projects
Do not start a new business, until you have finished the previous one.
3. Develop a system of priorities
Every employee in the team should be clear about their role in a given moment. Therefore, always arrange the priorities and try to determine the main task for each day or week.
There is nothing wrong with that if absolutely necessary to work in multitasking mode. But if it has begun to spread to all areas of your life, ask yourself: "Is it useful for multitasking in this area? What happens if I apply the opposite approach and focus on one thing? "
Try The above tips to break out of the trap of multitasking.