I can't say I'm incredibly surprised to find out that multi-tasking is reducing our effectiveness and our intelligence. I feel like I'm juggling a thousand thoughts, plans and lists all day every day. Sometimes, in my sleep. I'll wake up with a plan in my head. Now how did I come to that if I was actually sleeping and resting?
Neuroscientists Daniel J Levitan And Earl Miller explain that we while we think we are undertaking several tasks at once, every time we flit between emails, phone calls and other tasks, we are doing them all badly.
We create an addictive loop due to the stimulation of dopamine every time we switch between tasks but also release the stress and stimulation hormones of cortisol and adrenaline, which make it difficult to think with clarity.
In addition, the information learnt while multi-tasking isn't successfully stored in the hippocampus, where it can be held onto long-term. That sound sfamiliar, doesn't it? How often do you lose your grip on that bit of information you thought you had lodged in your brain just a few minutes ago?
Levitan makes it clear that email- facebook- and twitter-checking are a form of neural addiction. And it's one I myself am keen to break.