Should you multitask?

Article by: Amelie dL.

Edited by: Meg B.

Visual by: Jasmine R.

With second semester beginning, our plate is gradually filling with homework and assessments, making it necessary to get work done to the best of our abilities. Staying on task, though, tends to be a challenging feat for many students alike.

Are you listening to Spotify while typing up your English essay? Scrolling through social media while watching a Netflix show? Facetiming your friends while doing Math homework? Your diagnosis is simple: you are a multitasker.

This tactic is commonly used in the ISM community. With technology providing us with instantaneous results from the click of button, our attention spans are gradually wearing thin. Our inability to concentrate on singular tasks is where multitasking comes in.

How efficient can this tactic be when accomplishing tasks? This topic has been an area of great debate among many.

Some believe that multitasking is extremely ineffective, acting instead as a deterrent from completing tasks efficiently. By focusing on several things at once, multitasking “overstimulates your brain rather than help you focus on one important activity” says sophomore Maanya D. Instead, multitasking serves as a counterproductive tactic used to procrastinate getting work done. Sophomore Sofia I. agrees, saying “I don’t multitask, I’m too bad at it. Whenever I attempt to, I end up getting distracted and forget about all the work I’ve done.”

In fact, according to Psychology Today, only 2% of people can multitask effectively. This statistic is a clear indication of multitasking’s weaknesses. Regardless, the habit is extremely challenging to prevent. Why has multitasking almost become an addiction nowadays? Although one’s main objective is to focus, it takes much less effort to give into your distractions. The true cause for this is rooted from science. According to Wrike, when your brain decides to multitask, it automatically sends out a “shot of hormones directly to the pleasure center of the brain”. This is one reason why we tend to fall back to the habit of multitasking.  

Contrary to the belief however, some find multitasking a good use of their time as they are able to accomplish tasks quickly, as well as focus in a more effective manner. The most common type of multitasking is listening to music while doing work. When asked what music is ideal for focused studying, sophomore Maanya D. listens to “calming, lo-fi music” from Youtube live streams such as Chilledcow. Alternatively, sophomore Yana P. is a strong advocate for “watching a tv show, typically comedies like Friends, while getting work done” as she “can’t study in silence.”

As always, everything must be in moderation. To prevent from counterproductive multitasking, sophomore Kim R. advises readers to “do your work in a clean environment to avoid any distractions while getting work done.” By organizing one’s workspace, you prevent any possible distractions from getting in the way of your work and are able to focus much easier. Another tactic used by sophomore Elena D. is “using apps that can motivate you” such as “Forest, in which you can grow trees in reward of studying.”

With this in mind, we hope that these tips help you accomplish your goals to the best of your abilities!