Hack your commute: Stop multitasking

Inspiring ideas to expand your mind on the way to work.

Whatever you feel like doing on your commute – or when you get to your desk, for that matter – pick one thing and one thing only. Why? Because our brains aren’t good at multitasking.

Academics at Vanderbilt University found evidence way back in 2006 (which means we really should have learned by now) that the brain’s frontal lobe creates a “bottleneck of information processing that severely limits our ability to multitask”.

The proliferation of media channels and devices makes this worse. Another study, published by Stanford University researchers in 2009, found “heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli and from irrelevant representations in memory”. This hampers the ability to switch between tasks.

In other words, those who multitask are worse at multitasking than those who don’t multitask. So stop it.

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