WASHINGTON - People who balance all their "irons in the fire" can put an average person to shame. But new research suggests that not only is multitasking bad, people can't actually do it.
Multiple studies show that the brain doesn't think about multiple things at once. It has to disengage itself from one activity in order to move on to something else, according to MSN. This transition takes a few tenths of a second to complete.
"To put it bluntly, research shows that we can't multitask. We are biologically incapable," says John Medina, author of the book "Brain Rules."
Those that do try to manage multiple things at once can lose productivity and even experience a decrease in the ability to learn, the study says.
"We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing," Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, recently told National Public Radio. "Humans are not built to work this way."
For those who don't think they can break the multitasking habit, MSN recommends blocking out time to examine personal habits and calendars to see where there is overlap in work and family lives.
For more information, visit MSN or watch the video below to hear Medina talk about his New York Times bestseller, "Brain Rules."
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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