Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Secret To Being A Better Multi-Tasker

Science Has Found The Secret To Being A Better Multi-Tasker. And It's FUN.

The Debrief: There's apparently a really easy way to improve your multi-tasking skills, and it doesn't involve doing sudoku on a pogo stick

According to research, our brains aren’t wired for multi-tasking, which can actually lower productivity, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people find themselves putting their hands over their ears and yelling ‘HANG ON’ a couple of times a day when it all gets too much.

Thankfully, though, there’s a way to sort through those emails while working your pelvic floor and learning French. And it’s way more fun than most of the boring exercises people tell you to do for self-improvement, like pelvic floor exercises, because it involves playing Call of Duty. Or any game where you’re focusing on multiple things at once. 

‘We examined the relation of action video game practice and the optimisation of executive control skills that are needed to coordinate two different tasks,’ reads a study buried deep in the Acta Psychologica journal that we’re all reading regularly.

‘We obtained performance advantages for experienced video gamers compared to non-gamers in situations in which two different tasks were processed simultaneously or sequentially.’

For non-gamers, there wasn’t any advantage in single tasks – so it’s not like gamers are automatically way better at doing everything. Can you imagine if this was the case? That’d be amazing.

Anyway, we asked a couple of gamers whether they thought this was true – to confirm this study in highly scientific (read: unscientific) fashion – and got the following responses:

‘I’ve always been good at multi-tasking which is why I like games’; ‘Gaming hasn’t improved the fact I still can’t drink water and listen at the same time’, and ‘I don’t understand the question’. Presumably, that last person was too busy doing something to concentrate on the question. 

If science says it, though, it’s worth a shot, so next time you’ve got a big week coming up, try playing Goldeneye for 48 hours straight over the weekend and see if it affects anything. What’s the worst that can happen? 

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Tags: Science Says