It is believed that electronic multitasking reduces people’s focus on duties. The paper will be looking at the effect of multitasking on people’s focus. It will examine the level of concentration and efficiency at the time when people multitask. The key question would be whether it is worth multitasking, and can everyone do it efficiently?
To multitask is doing more than one thing at the same time. This definition can also apply when a person changes from doing one task to another with the aim of completing them both in good time. Multitasking is also the completion of several things, one after the other without any interruption (Crenshaw, 79).
Researchers have conducted some studies on the subject, and there is one particular type of multitasking that is common today. This is the one in which one does more than one task in electronic gadgets. One employer affirmed that multitasking is a requirement for job seekers in the current world. They are on their e-mails and chart on social media at the same time. They watch their favorite programmes on television while going through information from one website to another. However, it has been discovered through scientific research that multitasking is not that beneficial. People who multitask are not as good as the ones, who do not multitask in the following areas, paying attention to the essential things in the task, controlling their memories and changing from one task to another (Gorlick, web). Researchers came to this conclusion after around one hundred students did a set of tests that were three in number.
In today’s world, being in a hurry and doing a number of things at the same time has become common with most people. In the decade between 1900 and 2000, the popularity of multitasking increased even further. A number of electronic devices that could help accomplish the same thing at the same time also increased. Many of them are small enough to be held in the palms as people continue with the other tasks that they are supposed to complete. Even people and organizations began to appreciate individuals with this ability, and gave them some more preference in getting a chance at a position (Rosen, 3). A new survey by scientists has actually found that those chilkdren who do more than one task while studying are not as efficient in doing them as thought. It only gives the perception that they are able to do several things at once. The amount of learning that has been found to go on at the time is quite low as compared to when they are not multitasking. These students also experience a reduction in the ability to recall what they have done(Marks, 2).
Much has changed ever on this subject. It is no longer extoled as a means through which we can achieve more than one task in a record time. Research has uncovered the dangers of certain forms of multitasking like the use of cellphones while at the same time driving a vehicle. “What is alarming is that people who talk on cells phones while driving tend to be the people least able to multitask well,” laments Dr. David Sanbonmatsu, a psychological professor (Nauert, 2). The same applys to other devices that are electronic in nature while somebody is in control of a vehicle. Even the business people who view time as being an equivalent to money, are now discouraging people from using their cellphones, and reading e-mails while at the workplace “Our data suggest the people multitasking at working place are people who probably shouldn’t. We showed that people who multitask the most are those who appear to be the least capable of multitasking effectively” (Nauert, 2).
In a research funded by a computer hardware firm Hewlett-Packard, in 2005 and done by researchers from the Institute of Pschiatry at the University of london, it was discovered that the distractions that happen to workers as a result of these two activities while in the workplace reduces ones intelligence, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers” argued the psychologists (Rosen, 4).
A psychiatrist based in Massachusetts, and whose specialization is the treatment of disorders that involve attention deficit has come up with therapies suited to people who are unable to stop this trait. Edward Hallowell believes that this kind of behaviour is all about a mythical belief that they can do more than one task at the same time (Rosen, 5). He gave this condition the name “Attention Deficit Trait”, and argues that this can be attributed to the kind of environment we find ourselves today especially in the business world whereby almost everything, is fast paced and changing (Rosen, 5).
Gorlick argues that individuals who are normally bombarded with numerous electronic information rarely pays attention to any, and they do not have control over their memories. According to Clifford Nass, "They're suckers for irrelevancy," (Gorlick, web).
One of the things that many people do not seem to realize is that not everyone is able to multitask. As a matter of fact, those that are able to multitask effectively usually do not do so. Many of those people, who like multitasking, majorly do it not to save time but rather to create a sensation around them. The bad news still is that not many people can multitask and maintain their focus at the same time. Trying to multitask usually leads to much more time wasted than saved, especially when a person tries to sort out the mess that he or she has created by multitasking (Nauert, 2).
What can be concluded is that those who frequently do more than one task at a time may not necessarily be the best at mutitasking. This trait may also be a sign of a person’s inability to pay attention at any one issue in a given time. The result is a distraction, and even trying to get some sense of stimulation by performing some other activities. Multitasking results in deplorable perfomance of every activity at the same time as compared to someone who choses to focus on one particular activity at one time. people doing a lot of multitasking do this to seek distraction, and not because they are capable of perfoming the two or more activities at the same time. Those who are best placed to mutitask are those who can maintain their focus on particular things (Nauert, 6). However, such people do not multitask, and choose to concentrate on one activity at a time. Thus multitasking is not ethical and should be stopped by whoever practicing it.
Multitasking is a common thing in today’s world. Many people do it in the thought that they are saving time. Studies have however shown otherwise. It would be wiser if we put our focus on a particular activity and complete it before engaging in another. It is actually true to say that multitasking reduces the focus of people on worki or duty.