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The Curious Science of When Multitasking Works

The Curious Science of When Multitasking Works | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Trying to do two things at once is usually a recipe for doing both badly, according to a long line of research. We’re slower and less accurate when we try to juggle two things. Experts came to believe that there wasn’t much that could be done about this, so most of the advice in HBR has been to avoid multitasking as much as possible.


But if giving up multitasking isn’t an option, a new study  published in in Psychological Science offers some hope: your ability to multitask may depend on whether you were trained to do the two tasks separately or simultaneously.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

New research looks at how to multitask well. Your ability to juggle may depend on how you’re trained.


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Why Clay Shirky Banned Laptops, Tablets and Phones from His Classroom

Why Clay Shirky Banned Laptops, Tablets and Phones from His Classroom | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

People often start multi-tasking because they believe it will help them get more done. Those gains never materialize; instead, efficiency is degraded. However, it provides emotional gratification as a side-effect. This side-effect is enough to keep people committed to multi-tasking despite worsening the very thing they set out to improve.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

This problem is especially acute with social media, because on top of the general incentive for any service to be verbose about its value, social information is immediately and emotionally engaging.

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Most People Can't Multitask, But a Few Are Exceptional.

Most People Can't Multitask, But a Few Are Exceptional. | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

There is generally an inverse relationship between how good people are at multitasking and how good they think they are.


What makes the supertaskers able to do what they do? Are most of us doomed to a unitasking future?



Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

You are either born with the neural architecture that allows you to overcome the usual multitasking challenges, or you aren’t.


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malek's comment, May 24, 2014 7:32 AM
I concur and wonder: why organizations want multitasking skill in every job!
Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Adviser ★ Learning Designer ★ Neo-Generalist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. He helps visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviours and organisational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.