Sunday, March 3, 2013

Depth is more important than width!

“Being able to focus into one thing is more important than multitasking or trying to do many things at a time.”  ~Ankima Kul.

In today’s society it is considered that people, who are able to do more than one task at a time, are smarter or more intelligent than those who focus in one thing at a time. This is true for directly simultaneous tasks, such as watching TV or talking on phone while eating food, as well as indirect simultaneous tasks, such as joining many extra-curricular activities in the week (e.g. cricket, football, piano etc., all together along with regular school).

Those people, who do multitasking, are actually shifting their attention from one task to another, and it is found that it is not good for the smartness or intelligence of the individual. David Walsh mentions in his book Smart parenting, Smarter kids ,“… this digital age, teens wire their brains to make these shifts very quickly, but paying attention to one thing at a time, sequentially. Common sense tells us multitasking should increase brain activity, but actually it doesn’t. Researches discovered that multitasking actually decreases brain activity. Neither task is done as well as if each were performed individually, fractions of a second are lost every time we make a switch, and a person’s interrupted task can take 50 percent longer to finish, with 50 percent more errors.”

It is not that the children can’t do some tasks simultaneously but if they do two or more tasks at once, one of them has to be very familiar. Our brain performs the familiar task on “automatic pilot” while really paying attention to the other one. For e.g., kids can normally talk while tying shoe laces, as latter goes on auto pilot. But it is always better to do one thing at a time as constant distraction is a real threat to kid’s growth and success.

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