Professor Adrienne Cassel
24 September 2010
Summary of “Multitasking Can Make You Lose…Um…Um…Focus …Focus” Alina Tugend
According to Alina Tugend in the article “Multitasking Can Make You Lose” people are more prone to doing multiple things at once. Although multitasking may seem to preserve more time, according to many studies will produce less effective results. Since the early 1990’s multitasking has been thought of as an efficient way of saving time in our busy everyday lives. Emailing and chatting with multiple people at once online, watching television and talking on the phone are a couple of examples of how people tend to juggle multiple tasks. Activities of entertainment such as music, talking on the phone, or television can at times be invigorating when working on a task. Focusing on the task at hand at the same time can in many cases cause the individual to lose focus. Edward Hallowel, a psychiatrist and author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! (Ballantine, 2006). “Multitasking is shifting focus from one task to another in rapid succession.” Depending on the activity or the individual you may or may not be benefiting from doing multiple tasks at once. Technology at one time forced a single person to focus on one task and not enable the comfort of performing multiple tasks at one time. This allowed an individual to focus completely on the person on the other line of the phone or household chores separately. Concentrating on a friend while on the phone and typing a paper cannot be done simultaneously. It is very difficult to keep your attention on two things at once while focusing, time can be lost. Earl Miller, the Picower professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has explained that “in humans, the prefrontal cortex is about one-third of the entire cortex which is the part of the brain that contains the “executive control”...
Cited: Alina Tugend, Multitasking Can Make You Lose…Um…Focus, New York Times, 2008
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