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Is Multitasking Good for You?

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Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

Multitasking may often mean that we sometimes do too many things just “okay,” as opposed to a few things “very well.” But studies show that doing a lot at once makes us feel good, hence why we engage in such behavior.

Productivity may be high, but performance can be low. Despite this fact, emotional and habitual needs are met by doing more than one thing at once.

As it turns out, younger people feel more productive when they multitask.

A team at Ohio State University looked at the effects of media multitasking on college students, who can study, write a paper, listen to music and text friends at once and are part of a multitasking generation. The research was conducted outside of the lab and in the real world, with 19 students reporting four weeks of activities on a cell phone-like gadget.

They were asked to rate what needs (mental, emotional, habitual or social) were met by doing certain things and the motivation behind them, as well.

Studies indicate that people under 34 engage in media multitasking the most and that emotional and habitual needs were satisfied by multitasking, despite the fact that thinking skills were lowered as a result of all that distraction.

Researcher Zheng Wang, PhD said, “There’s this myth among some people that multitasking makes them more productive.” Wang continued, “They are not being more productive — they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.”

Additionally, doing other things while engaging in a boring but necessary tasked helped make said boring but necessary task more bearable.

[WebMD]

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