There are students who think they are pros at multitasking, and a lot of people view this as a good thing but is that really the case. Multitasking can be beneficial at times but harmful when it is normalised and can affect your schoolwork and grades.
Less focus on what is important
When students multitask, they tend to focus on a number of things at once. As a result, not even one activity receives the complete focus it needs.
If you are studying while watching a movie, your attention will be divided between both and in most cases, your focus will be more on the film. This is because students naturally enjoy watching movies more than they like studying or doing their schoolwork. Especially if you are learning a difficult concept or solving a problem. Watching a film while doing simple homework might not be bad but it will distract you if you are trying to learn something.
Cut out all distractions while studying. Don’t watch anything on your phone or keep social media tabs open on the laptop. You can play soothing music in the background to help you study. Avoid playing music that is upbeat or loud.
You retain information less effectively
You should retain what you learn if you want your studying sessions to be effective. Multitasking is horrible for information retention especially if the tasks involved require concentration.
Your brain can’t handle two attention-heavy tasks at once, let alone several. You can’t expect to learn organic chemistry and solve a jigsaw puzzle at the same time.
If you don’t retain what you learn, it is a waste of time and energy. Make it a priority to retain whatever you are learning. You can do this through creative ways like flashcards, making strategic pointers or with the help of diagrams.
You won’t stick to a schedule
Students usually multitask when they have a lot of work to finish because of procrastination or laziness. And multitaskers usually don’t follow any fixed schedule.
Have you ever tried finishing your chemistry homework and English project at the same time? Well, you won’t be doing them together if you had followed a proper schedule in the first place.
As a student, following a schedule must be a priority. A fairly regular schedule will help you balance your academics and social life in a healthy way without getting stressed or burnt out.
So don’t avoid following a schedule because you think you can finish all tasks together at the last minute. You will either do one poorly, skip a meal, miss a good night’s sleep or get stressed. In times of extreme burnout, hire a fast writer to help you finish your pending written assignments.
Your grades will go down
If your grades get worse, it usually means you aren’t doing something right. Your studying sessions aren’t effective, your procrastination is starting to show its effects and all your efforts to multitask didn’t end well at all.
Considering how multitasking affects your memory and information retention capabilities, it is natural for your grades to go down if you indulge in it too much.
You will get tired faster
Doing multiple tasks at once will drain your energy much faster. While this is fine once in a while, multitasking constantly can lead to more serious problems like depression and anxiety.
There are situations where multitasking works great – usually when one task doesn’t require much attention as the other. As students, try to practice multitasking in a way that it doesn’t affect your mental health or academic performance.
Remember, it’s crucial to prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to multitasking. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, focus on mastering one task at a time to ensure better results. Additionally, regularly assessing and adjusting your multitasking habits can help you strike a balance that enhances productivity and overall well-being.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.