While in a job interview, I felt they were underestimating my intelligence and experience when they asked if I could multitask. I got the job and started on-the-job training observing co-workers keeping up with multiple tasks at multiple locations throughout the day.

It all seemed simple until I was on my own. The tasks were simple but I made a few bad mistakes trying to juggle those tasks like I had seen in the on-the-job training phase. I had to find a new way to do the job to eliminate mistakes and the answer was to take on tasks one at a time. As time passed, I instinctively found myself multitasking but now I was doing it my way based on what I learned while slowing down to master the individual tasks one at a time.

I just read a story on how students are multitasking their studies with their smartphones.

An influential Stanford University study revealed that those who considered themselves to be excellent media multitaskers were “terrible” at it. I knew I wasn’t alone.

Did you know the average American teenager consumes just under nine hours of entertainment media outside of school? The article indicates a vast majority of teens who admit to at least some degree of multitasking while doing their homework, “nearly two-thirds of them say they don’t think watching television, texting, or using social media while doing homework makes any difference to the quality of their work.”

When it comes to reading and writing, I’ve got to be in complete silence. Of course, there never seems to be absolute silence anywhere I go, but I definitely seek a quiet place where I can’t hear any talking or music with lyrics.

When it comes to students, the study finds the average student studied for fewer than six minutes before switching tasks, often distracted by technology including social media or texting.

They go on to say…

What kind of critical thinking can possibly exist within the span of six minutes? While teens are in a prime stage of life to learn, they simultaneously possess powerful habit-forming abilities that make them vulnerable to dependency and addiction. Thus, it follows that as adolescent attention spans continue to diminish in the interests of unrestrained media consumption, we may be raising a generation of students who are cognitively unprepared to think critically.

This phenomenon has definitely spilled over into the adult world when you consider how long these devices have been distracting learners.

Read the article on the Teenage Smartphone Problem