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Multitasking = Multimistakes?

Tasks that require a bit more brain power, however, need focus. Adding even a simple activity to a higher-level task diminishes comprehension.


You’ve heard the buzzword multitasking. It means doing more than one thing at once, and, according to an article in the January ’08 Reader’s Digest, it means doing one of those things poorly.

According to Edward W. Hallowell, M.D., author of CrazyBusy, “Human beings can handle two simple, low-level cognitive tasks at once, like filing and listening to the radio.” Tasks that require a bit more brain power, however, need focus. Adding even a simple activity to a higher-level task diminishes comprehension.

Does that mean you can’t chew gum and work out at the same time? No, those are low-level activities (for most of us), but maybe you should refrain from telling your detailed weekend party stories during your training—or sending e-mail via your BlackBerry—unless you like not making optimal gains and possibly getting injured.

—Becky Holman

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