In the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice to his son: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time. Here are a few things that bear out Chesterfield my have been right:
- Numerous studies have shown the sometimes fatal danger of using phones and other electronic devices while driving.
- A 2005 British study found that workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.
- A Vanderbilt University found that task-switching leads to time lost as the brain determines which task to perform.
- An UCLA study found thru the use of brain scans that multitasking adversely affects learning. “Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible so you cannot retrieve the information as easily,” it says.
- “People who have achieved great things often credit a finely honed skill for paying attention. When asked about his genius, Isaac Newton responded that if he had made any discoveries, it was “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.”
—Adapted from Toronto Star: Can you finish this story without being interrupted? Doing too many things at once may not be saving us any time, and could be harming our health by Christine Rosen
The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done