Your Brain on Multitasking

**WARNING** What I'm about to say may give you a brain cramp.... I know you're probably in the middle of something, but just hang with me for a second (wink). Did you know that according to the newest studies in neuroscience, "the oft-admired 'talent' of multitasking is a joke!" (I actually heard this at a conference and almost fell out of my chair!) Dr. Henry Cloud states in his new book, Boundaries for Leaders, that "our brains run in a hampered state when we multitask - reducing an astronaut's brain to that of a hamster...The brain craves attention in order to work. You need to attend to what is relevant and inhibit everything else." 

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We multitask because we think we are getting more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately, studies prove that this simply isn't true ...and it can harm relationships and actually hinder our goals.

According to Larry Kim, a writer with Inc. Magazine, "A study from the University of Sussex (UK) ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. That's the area responsible for empathy and emotional control."

Here are 3 things that you CAN do to save time and be more productive: 

  1. Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries says, "Do things in batches. Pay your bills all at once, then send your emails all at once. Each task requires a specific mindset, and once you get in a groove you should stay there and finish." 
     
  2. As sure as your iPhone will lose it's charge by lunch today, the minute we sit down to complete a task, other important "to-do's" flood our brain. Keep a random thought pad handy to write things down. Then, you can go back and do those things later after you've completed what's in front of you.
     
  3. Prioritize. Write down the top 3 most important things you absolutely must get done for the day. It's amazing how accomplished you will feel when you check them off! Success begets success. Small victories lead to larger ones just like a domino effect.

 

[This Week's Prayer]

 Dear Lord, I need you to help me in this area. I ask that you would first of all give me YOUR priorities for my life - make them clear. I am standing not in my own power, but standing firm in your power to accomplish the things I feel you have for me to accomplish for your kingdom. I understand that "unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1) I ask you to help me build! Give me the self-discipline to prioritize and manage my affairs according to your standards. I pray that everything I do will be filtered through love. I lift my schedule up to you Father God and according to 1 Corinthians 14:33, "you are not a God of confusion, but of PEACE..." Seal these things upon my heart in Jesus' name, amen! 

Kelly Roberson
Certified Life Coach, Artist
Ignite Your Passion & Rock Your World!