Ok, I am a guilty media multitasker.
I can’t help it!
In my own little way, especially in how I manage my personal effectiveness, I juggle a number of things all at the same time.
While on the phone, I sometimes send a text message, send an email, and surf the net, simultaneously. It’s really a good thing that I’m not really into watching TV, otherwise, this would complete my label as a media multitasker par excellence!
I was actually comfortable in my own skin as a media-multitasker until now. I pride myself in accomplishing a lot of things in so little time. The thing with this label, however, is that it is now synonymous to – tadah! – stupid!
It’s like hearing the sound of fingernails scratching the blackboard. There goes my quest for personal effectiveness! And now I just realized that I may not be as effective as I think I am!
The Stanford University Study
“They’re suckers for irrelevancy. Everything distracts them.”
Thus,concluded a study in 2009 by Stanford researchers after giving a series of tests to 100 students, divided into high-multitaskers and non-multitaskers or low-multitaskers.
The researchers actually premised their study on a preconceived notion that multitaskers have a special gift or rare quality that makes them able to handle so many things all at the same time. And, that they’re really good at what they do.
The study ended up debunking this misconception.
The Three Things MediaMultitaskers Aren’t Good At
The test concluded the following things about media multitaskers in general:
1. Attention – The Lack of It
Multitaskers, apparently, cannot stay focused, used as they are to have a flitting attention span. They were constantly distracted by irrelevant things in the test instead of focusing on the subject of the test.
2. Memory – Poor and Disorganized
With no focus, multitaskers were expected to remember a lot of things but in the subsequent test, it was also revealed that they have a poor recollection of things and well, scatter-brained.
3. Switching Tasks – Unable!
Now this is an irony. Multitaskers are supposed to be able to switch easily from one thing to another but the test also concluded that they just couldn’t stop thinking about the task they weren’t doing. It’s like being lost in the moment. “The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can’t keep things separate in their minds.“
I bet this study is an overwhelming thing to read and discover. It has so much to say about how media multitasking can actually affect or worse, impair, our personal effectiveness.
Frankly, I am really alarmed that I could be doing more harm than good to my brain as I toggle from one thing to another just so I can very effective and efficient in my work.
There are always two sides to a coin, however, so I’ve scoured the net for interesting blogs that posit two contrasting opinions about multi-tasking and you can just click on the links below.
How About You? What’s Your View On Media Multitasking Hampering Your Personal Effectiveness?
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To Your Success,