Neuroscientists Say Multitasking Literally Drains Your Energy Reserves


Multitasking is incredibly addictive, it often possesses the power to make one feel powerful and in control as they veer from one task to the other, attacking little bits at a time.

However, Neuroscientists say that these multiple activities are draining your brains energy reserves.

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Browsing Facebook while watching a movie and typing a hasty political article?

The constant switch of your focus is likely making you incredibly tired. Multitasking involves switching between different activities in short periods of time and these switches are exhausting.

They apparently, use up oxygenated glucose in the brain, running down the same fuel that’s needed to focus on a task.


Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University says; “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing”.

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He encourages regular breaks every couple of hours;

“Studies have found that people who take 15-minute breaks every couple of hours end up being more productive, but these breaks must allow for mind-wandering, whether you’re walking, staring out the window, listening to music or reading.

Everyone gets there a different way. But surfing Facebook is not one of them. Social networks just produce more fractured attention, as you flit from one thing to the next.”

Gloria Mark, professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, also pitched in on the subject saying that when people are interrupted, it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to their work.

Before going back, most people will do two intervening tasks, this switching leads to a build up of stress.


Through her research, Mark’s has found that after being frequently interrupted, people often develop a short attention span and begin to self-interrupt.

The solution prescribed is that people should give up on multitasking altogether, instead setting aside dedicated chunks of time for each separate activity.