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Did you know that your brain isn’t naturally very good at multitasking?

The same modern culture which values busyness and stress often equates the concept of multi-tasking with success and achievement. However, if you track what’s going on inside your brain while you multitask, you’ll find that you’re not actually juggling around multiple tasks at the same time. Your brain is, instead, being wrenched from activity to activity, perhaps multiple times in a series of minutes.

Each time, your brain is expected to remember exactly what’s happening, what your specific goals for that activity are, and make nuanced judgments about how to proceed. Sometimes, your brain is only given a few minutes to accomplish this before you proceed to the next task (and sometimes as little as 45 seconds!). That also means that, rather than saving time, multitasking can actually waste time, since your brain has to mentally catch up and re-orient itself with every change. This depletes your glucose levels, which can make you irritable and frustrated (and can explain some of those snack cravings).

If this sounds stressful and frazzling, it’s because it is. Studies show that not only are you likely getting less done when you multitask, but you could actually be changing your brain.


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