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The advantages of “singletasking”

We have heard lots about multitasking and I think many of us pride ourselves on our ability to do two things at once. But recent research on the brain suggests that none of us can actually multitask. When we think we are doing that, we are simply quickly moving back and forth between two tasks. So if we think we are reading a text and walking down the street at the same time, what we are actually doing is making our brain move really quickly between reading a text and navigating a walk. This is hard on our brains and can contribute to our overall stress level. Rather than multitasking all the time, consider singletasking some of the time. When you are talking to a friend, just talk to the friend. When you are wiping up the counters, just wipe up the counters – don’t create the shopping list in your head at the same time. Research suggests this may help to  lower stress. Of course if you are living with an abusive person, singletasking may be impossible as you will always have to pay attention to your partner as a way of trying to stay emotionally and physically safe. But if you are not living with an abusive person or you get breaks from the abusive person, maybe you could give singletasking a try.

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