Horror upon horrors…NPR has continued it series on multi-tasking. I’ve learned that:
- We technically don’t multi-task, we quickly switch mental gears and
- Multi-tasking in the car is as dangerous as drunk driving!
But the worst news of all is that multi-tasking is muddling my brain.
According to researchers at the University of Michigan, when we multi-task we break the connections that developed when we learned (or remembered) something. Our brain is forced to recreate that path to remember what we’ve forgotten because of switching to another task:
To restore those connections…(he) will have to repeat much of the thought process that created them in the first place. The technical name for creating, or recreating, these neural pathways is “spreading activation.” It involves building connections step by step. Meyer says it’s similar to what we do when we free associate.
That’s just great. As if I don’t have enough to do already, now I can just see myself running from here to there, trying to remember what I’ve forgotten because I was interrupted by a new task on my way from Point A to Point B.
Years ago, a friend told me that she was becoming obsessed with the Hereafter. According to Jeanine, several times a day she stopped to wonder “What I am here after?”Now that I think back on it, she was a major multi-tasker.