Photo by Colin Principe, licensed by CC.
I can juggle. Sort of. I can keep three tangerines in the air (I just timed myself) for 22 seconds. I was about 13 when I became obsessed with the idea of learning how to juggle. I remember practicing day in and day out, bruising many a fruit as I taught myself how to keep them all in the air. I was over the moon happy when I was finally able to do it. I yelled for my parents to come into the room quickly to witness my superhero magic. I thought, what could be more amazing than this?
Fast forward to the present and I'm still juggling. Chances are, so are you. I bet you can eat breakfast, check your email, respond to a text, watch the news and talk to your significant other all at the same time. You might even be proud of your juggling skills. I know I was. Until my head exploded. Okay, maybe that's a tad dramatic but my head was beginning to feel very full. Too full. Too full to function. As soon as I'd sit myself down in front of my laptop I could feel myself getting vacuum sucked into the maddening matrix of TMI (too much information) giving me the feeling of being in a constant state of overwhelm.
According to recent studies, there's a reason why my mind aches from all of this simultaneous doing. Studies now show that multitasking is bad for us. David Meyer at the University of Michigan says that:
"Multitasking contributes to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline, which can cause long-term health problems if not controlled, and contributes to the loss of short-term memory."
Also, we may think we're master multitaskers, but 98 percent of us really aren't. Apparently, the brain requires a certain amount of bandwidth to move from one thing to the next and back again, affecting our performance on both tasks. This video by Sanjay Gupta, M.D. does a great job summing it up.
Read the full article "The Magic of Monotasking" at The Huffington Post.