Impact sommeil sur santé cérébrale

You probably all know about multitasking and you are using it in your professional and personal life. "Doing several things at the same time": reading your mails, while consulting social networks and answering the phone for example.

Yes, we have a lot to manage at work, we have to be fast and productive, so we try to do several things at the same time. But it's a mistake. Your feeling of being more productive by doing this, is an illusion! And I will explain to you why.

Your ability to do several things at the same time, will depend on the cognitive charge they require  and the nature of the information. For example, do you have to process information with more than two visuals at the same time, or do you have to process visual and an auditory information simultaneously? Basically, the only way to do two things at the same time is if one of these tasks has been automated, means that this task is fully automatic like walking, cycling or driving.

Yes, you can drive and talk at the same time, considering that the road is pretty quiet and without too many distractions around. If you remember when you were learning how to drive, it wasn’t yet automatic. It was much harder to focus on both : which foot goes on which pedal, and at the same time to tell your co-pilot about the amazing evening that you had the night before!

Anyway, when you do several tasks at the same time, as we said, reading mails, answering the phone and checking social networks, you actually switch very fast, from one activity to another. But to keep switching very quickly and sharing the attention between several elements, comes at a cost and has consequences! You impose higher cognitive load on yourself. It means that you need several cognitive functions, different types of attention, working memory and executive functions. Basically, this is what allows you to focus your attention, split it into different topics, to process relevant information, keep it for a short time in your memory, while simultaneously avoiding irrelevant information and looping back to relevant information.

Just by explaining, I am already tired! The thing is, you believe that you are more productive, but finally:

  • you create cognitive fatigue,
  • you risk making more mistakes (the brain is really strong, okay but it still has limits!),
  • and it will take you more time.

And of course, the more simultaneous tasks you take on, the worse it will be!

The advice: Prioritise the mono-tasking, do things, one after the other for more productivity and serenity!


Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologist

Caroline Joubert obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Université de Caen with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and an Inter-University Diploma from the Université Paris 8 in Psychopathology and Neurological Illness. She has been responsible for neuropsychological assessments and neuropsychological rehabilitation of adults and children in several hospitals in France. At ELLISTRA, she is bringing her expertise in neuroscience to create new content (videos, articles, etc.).

RÉFÉRENCES

Impact sommeil sur santé cérébrale

What is the cognitive impact of multitasking ?

by Caroline Joubert

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You probably all know about multitasking and you are using it in your professional and personal life. "Doing several things at the same time": reading your mails, while consulting social networks and answering the phone for example.

Yes, we have a lot to manage at work, we have to be fast and productive, so we try to do several things at the same time. But it's a mistake. Your feeling of being more productive by doing this, is an illusion! And I will explain to you why.

Your ability to do several things at the same time, will depend on the cognitive charge they require  and the nature of the information. For example, do you have to process information with more than two visuals at the same time, or do you have to process visual and an auditory information simultaneously? Basically, the only way to do two things at the same time is if one of these tasks has been automated, means that this task is fully automatic like walking, cycling or driving.

Yes, you can drive and talk at the same time, considering that the road is pretty quiet and without too many distractions around. If you remember when you were learning how to drive, it wasn’t yet automatic. It was much harder to focus on both : which foot goes on which pedal, and at the same time to tell your co-pilot about the amazing evening that you had the night before!

Anyway, when you do several tasks at the same time, as we said, reading mails, answering the phone and checking social networks, you actually switch very fast, from one activity to another. But to keep switching very quickly and sharing the attention between several elements, comes at a cost and has consequences! You impose higher cognitive load on yourself. It means that you need several cognitive functions, different types of attention, working memory and executive functions. Basically, this is what allows you to focus your attention, split it into different topics, to process relevant information, keep it for a short time in your memory, while simultaneously avoiding irrelevant information and looping back to relevant information.

Just by explaining, I am already tired! The thing is, you believe that you are more productive, but finally:

  • you create cognitive fatigue,
  • you risk making more mistakes (the brain is really strong, okay but it still has limits!),
  • and it will take you more time.

And of course, the more simultaneous tasks you take on, the worse it will be!

The advice: Prioritise the mono-tasking, do things, one after the other for more productivity and serenity!


Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologist

Caroline Joubert obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Université de Caen with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and an Inter-University Diploma from the Université Paris 8 in Psychopathology and Neurological Illness. She has been responsible for neuropsychological assessments and neuropsychological rehabilitation of adults and children in several hospitals in France. At ELLISTRA, she is bringing her expertise in neuroscience to create new content (videos, articles, etc.).

Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologist

Caroline Joubert obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Université de Caen with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and an Inter-University Diploma from the Université Paris 8 in Psychopathology and Neurological Illness. She has been responsible for neuropsychological assessments and neuropsychological rehabilitation of adults and children in several hospitals in France. At ELLISTRA, she is bringing her expertise in neuroscience to create new content (videos, articles, etc.).

RÉFÉRENCES