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The Downside of Multi-Tasking

Do you ever find that by the time you finish that last cup of coffee in the morning, you’re already exhausted? According to researchers, it’s because we use our relaxing coffee time to multi-task: Check emails, pay bills, peruse headline news, etc. The more challenging the tasks, the more energy-drained we feel.

Actually, scientists say multi-tasking isn’t actually possible. What we’re really doing is rapidly changing our focus from one project to another. The faster we keep switching back and forth, the more energy we use. Studies have not only shown that focusing on one thing at a time can make us more productive, but that taking a 15-minute break every couple of hours can also improve productivity.

Interestingly, if you use that break to check out social media, it doesn’t provide the rest your brain requires. Perusing a variety of posts, headlines or photos is just another version of multi-tasking. According to researchers, mind-wandering is necessary, whether you’re walking, staring out the window, listening to music or reading.

Other ways to “reboot” your brain power include light exercise, eating healthy and even having a friendly chat with a peer.