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Are you giving me your full attention?

Author: Katie Hart

Date: 09 Oct 2023

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Are you giving me your full attention?
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I mean it? If you are doing anything else while you are allegedly reading this, I want you to stop doing the other thing. I need to make sure you are really concentrating for this one.

Because you are not going to like it. You are not going to want to hear it, and you will think that you are the exception to the rule. You may even think you know better than the ‘so-called experts’ who have been studying this for years.

We are going to talk about multi-tasking.

Despite how you may feel, or what you may WANT to be the case, the research continues to show us that multi-tasking is not an efficient way for us to operate. It is not effective, and it is not a good practice for us to engage in on a regular basis.

Now, I am sure at some level you already know this. For example, you probably know the reasons why you must not text and drive. However, maybe you are still guilty of helping the children with their homework while you are cooking dinner? Or replying to a text message quickly whilst still being involved in a conversation happening in the room around you? Harmless right?

Wrong.

You see, when you think you are multi-tasking, you are actually switching your attention between the competing tasks. And each time you switch your attention, demands are placed on some of your brain processes. So in actual fact, doing more than one task at a time costs you more of your precious brain power, than doing them consecutively would.

So what? You are still saving time right?

Yes, but, you are doing that at the expense of accuracy, speed and even long-term cognitive functions.  You see when you ask your brain to do this on a regular basis, it actually changes the brain’s ability to remain focused on a task, or give attention to one thing. It can also affect your memory and your ability to retain information.

So, remember that the next time you think you are being efficient.

Or at least, try to remember that…

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