Multitasking at work? You might as well be drunk - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Multitasking at work? You might as well be drunk

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

If you are multitasking at work, you might as well be working drunk. That's according to a new Danish study that states it damages your ability to go deep.

I found a multitasking test that author Dave Crenshaw uses to show that multitasking does nothing but slow us down. I brought the Multitask Challenge to a place where there are a plethora of multitaskers: A university.

In this small study, four out of six were multitaskers. But for this test, I needed people with a real pad, not an iPad. Participants drew two lines and write: Multitasking is like being drunk. Then they jotted down the numbers 1-28 - which is how many letters there are in that sentence - and I timed them. Most thought they were quite good at multitasking, though some already realized it slows them down. Times varied from 29 to 45 seconds.

Next, they wrote it again, but wrote M then 1, u then 2 l then 3 and so on. Some wrote on different lines, some put the numbers next to the letters, but all persevered. And to get a good look, I time warped one test. Times on the multitask test were all over a minute, and all took at least twice as long.

“I lost track of my letters, then my numbers, and I had to go back and put numbers back in. So, not good,” said U.T. student Kristie Nipp of her performance.

“It is literally like being drunk because you lose track of time and you're trying to figure out multiple things at the same time,” said student Justin McFarland. 

The only positive I can give multitasking is you sober up pretty quick when you stop.

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