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Is Multitasking Bad for You?

     Researchers at Stanford University gathered a group of people to study the effects of multitasking, and whether or not it’s good for you. Some of the effects they discovered are that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain, and research shows it can even lower your IQ. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work.

     The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance, this was not the case. They found that multitaskers were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will increase any difficulties you may have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex.

     At the University of London, participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced the lower of their IQ of 15 points. Similar to those expected if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. While multitasking can get things done, it’s often lower quality and it ruins your already problems. While some might continue multitasking, others will stop and focus on one task at a time. What do you plan to do?

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