The ability to effectively multitask is the exception, not the rule. Very few people can successfully multitask. 

Multitasking - does it work?

Here are few points to consider

  • People tend to overestimate their ability to multitask, and likely not good at it.
  • Multitasking is often mistaken for micro-tasking (quickly switching between multiple tasks).
  • Multitasking slows down your thinking process.
  • Multitasking makes it more likely that you'll make mistakes.
  • Multitaskers may feel more distracted than people who focus on one task at a time (i.e. constantly having to refocus on a new task).

Graphic art of a woman

Think about it - multitasking while driving isn't a good idea. It is distracting, makes driving unsafe and accidents more likely. Don’t do that with your studying as well.

  • Assignments will take much longer than if you did assignments one by one.
  • You are far more likely to make mistakes.
  • You will retain less information.

If you feel that multitasking is negatively impacting your studying, you can make changes that will help: 

  • Prioritize your tasks and focus on the top priority. 
  • Use a modified Pomodoro technique. Instead of switching between tasks, try to fully devote your attention to one task for 25 minutes before taking a quick break and switching to the another task. 
  • Schedule your tasks. If email, texts, or social media are distracting you, schedule a specific time for those tasks. Turn off notification during other times. 
  • If you do need to work on multiple things, combine something rote (i.e. folding laundry), with something that requires more focus (i.e. reviewing with flashcards). 
  • Limit distractions. Find a quiet place to study, and turn off notifications.