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Does multi-tasking really make a person more productive & How does ADD/ADHD affect the efficiency of multi-tasking - Research Paper Example

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Multitasking Efficiency for those with and without ADD/ADHD Cinthia Morton Mrs. Thomas Psychology, Period 2 10 May 2011 Society has gone through lot of changes over the past decades. Each year, seems to bring a new trend. Of late, there has been a heavy rise in multitasking as a trend in personal and professional lives of people…
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Does multi-tasking really make a person more productive & How does ADD/ADHD affect the efficiency of multi-tasking
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Download file to see previous pages It is debatable if multitasking is productive or not. That depends upon what type of tasks one person is engaged in. In daily activities, many examples can be observed to give evidence of multitasking. Someone is talking on cell phone while finishing lunch. Listening to radio while driving, listening to music while exercising, watching TV while checking mails or chewing gum when walking on the road are very common examples of multitasking in young adult. Moms are the best example of ultimate multitasking individuals – cooking, dishwashing, taking care of babies, talking on phone, watching television, planning for tomorrow’s activities, so many tasks together they manage at once. “It seems from our survey, that everybody is doing some amount of multitasking. It’s hard to find people who don’t multi-task, but it’s all about the intensity”. (Ophir, 2009) The important point to note is that multitasking not only brings inefficiency, but can also pose health risks. Where multitasking is detrimental to a perfectly healthy person, it is even more difficult to people with disorders such as ADD/ADHD. The discussion below will highlight some key observations and examples of multitasking, its impact, difficulty for ADD/ADHD affected people and some means to manage multitasking better. During the National Public Radio discussion about multitasking and productivity, it was concluded that multitasking does not always mean higher productivity. Dr. Nass pointed out that the younger generations are showing an enormous desire to multitask. He also stated that, their “recent research has suggested that if women are watching television while they are breastfeeding, the babies are actually spending an enormous amount of time watching Television in their later life” (Nass 2009). Additionally, different patterns of multitasking are seen in different generations. Rocketing use of computer, internet, mobile phones, and iPods is affecting their attention span. Younger society is getting shaped to multitask in their day to day activities. There is no such thing as “productive multi-tasking” because in order to do an efficient job, an individual should focus solely on one task for better results. “Multitaskers were just lousy at everything…I was sure they had some secret ability. But it turns out that high multitaskers are suckers for irrelevancy” (Nass 2009). According to New York Times summery, National Academy of Sciences has published a study (August 2009) where in, 100 college students were assessed as high or low in multitasking. The students were monitored for their focus, memory and distractibility. And they had drawn a conclusion that Multitasking fails its practitioner currently and possibly long term. In order to know the impact of multitasking, researcher had asked the participants to switch the task in between and then measure how much time is lost by switching. They concluded that candidates were slower when they had to switch the task than when they had to repeat the same. Research has shown that when an individual is switching between two tasks, it takes longer mentally to complete tasks efficiently. (R. Roger. S. Monsell, 1995). In another study, researcher found that candidates lost lot of time when they switched between multiple tasks and lost even more time as the tasks became increasingly complex. (Rubinstein, Evans, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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