Are People Who Think They Can Multitask Deluding Themselves?
Many scientifically proven strategies to boost your mental performance involve easily embraceable, common-sense tactics that can have an immense impact on the long-term health of your most important natural resource. One such tactic is eliminating toxic multitasking. Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness. Chronic multitaskers also have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can damage the memory region of the brain. The truth is, your brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. It literally cannot achieve this, except in very rare circumstances. Frequently switching between tasks overloads the brain and makes you less efficient. It’s a formula for failure in which your thoughts remain on the surface level and errors occur more frequently. Multitasking, though, can be a difficult habit to break. It’s more common among teenagers and young adults who are constantly connected to email, smart phones and social media apps, but older technology users also seek the immediate satisfaction of beeps, dings and buzzes. Each creates an addicting release of dopamine in the brain, which perpetuates the need for speed and ceaseless stimulation, making the cycle more difficult to break. Credit: Sandra Bond for Forbes.
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