I’ve always had this sneaky suspicion that multitasking is actually vastly worse than single tasking. You get so caught up doing a million things at once you end up doing nothing. The ever excellent Lifehacker has the following to say on the matter:
The interesting part is that our brains can’t multitask at all. If we have lunch, 5 Facebook chat windows open and also try to send off an email, it isn’t that our brain focuses on all these activities at the same time.
Instead, multitasking splits the brain. It creates something researchers have called “spotlights”. So all your brain is doing is to frantically switch between the activity of eating, to writing an email, to answering chat conversations.
Moral of the story, we’re actually too stupid as human beings to multitask and you should just stop trying. Check out the rest of the science here.