From the author:
How multitasking makes us sick
Thanks to the internet, smartphones, netbooks and iPad, we can find an almost unlimited amount of information at any time and with just a few clicks. Paradoxically, this is what causes many to fail to do their actual job and become permanent procrastinators.
Thanks to multitasking, we can process eMails in parallel and apparently in the shortest possible time, check stock market prices, write a briefing and choose a movie for the weekend. But what about our cognitive abilities, which must strive to keep pace with this rapid development? And what can we do to "decelerate" our brains again?
Do you recognize yourself here?
- While downloading a larger file is running, take advantage of the time and look quickly to where there are cheap flights for your summer holiday, and from whom the latest contact request comes with Xing.
- Traveling on the train at a business meeting makes your laptop limp, your smartphone does not get internet connection. Actually not so tragic; You do not expect urgent messages, and your office knows that you can not always be reached. You could read the book you bought at the station. They prefer to play a bit of Tetris. After each round, check to make sure you are finally back online.
- At least two browser windows are always open on your computer and there are at least eight tabs each.
Then you may be suffering from DAD.
What is DAD?
Behind this abbreviation lies a syndrome called Divided Attention Disorder, the latest new addition to the attention deficit family, to which the BBC recently dedicated a contribution.
According to current findings, DAD (presumably) is not fatal or contagious, but it is likely to be widespread in our society and responsible for a multitude of dead hours.
When multitasking makes problems
Because the principle of multitasking is not infrequently a problem: Multitasking is about productivity; it is to use our precious and scarce good, the time, as sensibly as possible and give us so much more of it.
Priority activities will be carried out simultaneously, with one of the activities being more demanding and retaining the bulk of our attention, the second being rather incidental: for example, we have lunch while processing the latest eMails.
When priorities set difficult
It becomes critical when we feel incapable to prioritize the information that flows daily to us, to carry out tasks in a structured manner, and to concentrate on an activity for a longer period of time. When our attention jumps from one subject to another in a five-second cycle, we do not work efficiently.
Our task is not as fast as we had imagined, and in the end we are confused by a mass of loose threads and spend an unnecessary amount of time assembling them.
Does too much technology damage the brain?
No, it is not a matter of radiation, which acts on us through excessive hand-handling. However, our heavily technology-dependent approach involves other dangers. According to BBC, there is a theory to DAD that is quite disturbing:
In the long term, this way of working should lead to cognitive overload and influence our way of thinking. Too many quick and short impulses literally overflow the so-called working memory, the part of our memory that is responsible for temporary storage and not particularly pronounced.
Our attention span is decreasing, our brains are unlearning the deep concentration and linking new information with the facts and experiences stored in our long-term memory. Our thoughts do not mature to deep stored knowledge, but remain confused on the surface.
Slow Food, Slow Brain
But how can one escape from the maelstrom of never-ending flood of information and constant availability? How to "reprogram" his brain? The keyword is not No Brainer, but only Slow Brainer (and that only in a positive sense, think slow versus fast food). At least you do not need a hat made of aluminum foil.
Accept that just because modern technologies theoretically allow you to be ready at all times and you could do it all at once, you should practically not invite them to do so. Because if you know that you are always available, you will be bombarded with unauthorized eMails.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960862
English version: ISBN 9783965960879 (Translation notice)
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