Surely you know someone who constantly brags about “being able to do several things at the same time”, and that all tasks go ahead without problems. But surely you have also heard more than once that people cannot “multitask”. The truth is that there are a lot of studies that have focused on the matter and have come to this conclusion.
Why is Multitasking Impossible?
Studies show that multitasking is not possible. Whenever we consider those activities that require active thinking. That is, breathing, the beating of our heart and other “tasks” that are practically automatic would be out of this equation.
However, simpler things like adding and writing, for example, would be impossible to do at the same time. Since our brain cannot physically think of several things that require our attention at the same time.
A “Switch” Inside our Brain
In other words, our brain has a “switch” that makes us focus on one thing or another. But we cannot do it in two things at the same time. So if we want to think about A, we won’t be able to think about B. Or, at least, we won’t be able to. What leaves us with that, instead of doing several things at the same time we are “changing” the focus of our brain (more or less quickly, that depends on each person). Although, of course, this affects greatly our performance.
Possibility of Improvement?
Yes, it is true that this multitasking principle in our head can be improved. How? With practice, of course. The more we accustom our brain to changing its focus, the easier it will be for us to get back on track with what we were doing before. So, although we will not be able to do several things at the same time, it will be less hard to intersperse minor tasks inside our ‘main tasks’ throughout the day, without losing the train of our thought.