The dangers of multitasking

May 20, 2019
adelaide counselling

I recently came across this quote, which I have shared in my Facebook group for Private Practice Professionals, because it really spoke to me and I just knew it had to be shared with you. 

‘Asking the brain to shift attention from one activity to another causes the prefrontal cortex and striatum to burn up oxygenated glucose, the same fuel they need to stay on task. And the kind of rapid, continual shifting we do with multitasking causes the brain to burn through fuel so quickly that we feel exhausted and disoriented after even a short time. We’ve literally depleted the nutrients in our brain. This leads to compromises in both cognitive and physical performance. Among other things, repeated task switching leads to anxiety. Which raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, which in turn can lead to aggressive and impulsive behaviors. By contrast, staying on task is controlled by the anterior cingulate and the striatum, and once we engage the central executive mode, staying in that state uses less energy than multitasking and actually reduces the brain’s need for glucose,’ 

Daniel J. Levitin, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.

What do you think? Has this changed the way you will perform tasks? You can read more on multitasking here

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