Multitasking not only makes us less productive in the office, but it is also bad for our brains, as it made us work less efficiently and leaves us more open to making mistakes, finds researchers at Stanford University.
Lead researcher Clifford Nass gave more than 260 college students various experiments which included switching between tasks, filtering irrelevant details, and using memory.
AdvertisementHis team found that not only did those who frequently admitted to multi-tasking perform worse than those who didn't, but they were also less successful at managing single tasks, News.com.au reported.
Researchers also found that chronic multi-taskers actually underperformed compared to colleagues who stuck with the one task.
According to his findings, taking on more than one task at a time increases the likelihood of mistakes occurring and added workers were better off sticking to one task every 20 minutes as opposed to swapping in between.
He also suggested people limit email checks to a few times a day, which would enable them to focus on one task for longer without interruption.
The study found participants who multi-tasked often were less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular job at hand.
Experts also found that those who multi-tasked badly and often were more likely to be impulsive and had greater difficulty maintaining attention.
The findings are published in the journal Plos One.