Many people think they can do multiple things at once, but research shows us that only about 2% of the population can effectively multitask. Even if you feel like you’re multitasking, you’re probably not: you’re switching between tasks very quickly (some call this “micro-tasking”). The downsides of multitasking and microtasking:

  • Assignments take longer. Each time you come back to an assignment (from Instagram for example), you have to get familiar with it, find your spot, remember what you were going to do next, etc.
  • You are more likely to make mistakes. Distractions and switching between tasks tires out the brain.
  • You’ll remember less. When your brain is divided, you’re less able to commit what you’re learning to long-term memory because it doesn't get encoded into your brain.

When you need to study something important, consider the The Magic of Monotasking:

  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Take breaks between tasks.
  • Consider the Pomodoro Method to help you focus for 25−50 minute periods, and then reward yourself with 5− or 10−minute breaks.

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