Multi-tasking: A Big No-No

Since we live in a very fast-paced Information Age, we all would want to learn and do many things at the same time. We are bombarded with new stimuli that awaken our hungry minds every time. Plus, with the short period of time that we live here on earth (just a matter of 70 or 80), we just cannot stop.

Some might say that it’s okay to multi-task. Yes, it is. I don’t go against that. I did that myself. But based on my own experience, multi-tasking won’t give you the same optimum results than when you’re not. You see. I tried to do several things at the same time during my college years. I studied and volunteered full-time and worked part-time. It was really difficult. Though I was able to graduate with flying colors from my university, still volunteer full-time, and gained a good job after graduation, I cannot really ensure that I achieved my potentials and got the most out of my experiences. I could have had spent more time studying, thinking outside the box, and gaining new skills related to my field. I could have had poured my best efforts to my volunteer work. And my students could have benefited more from my teaching, had I not multi-tasked.

You see. It’s possible to multi-task. It won’t just bring the best and satisfying results. Let me give you another example. Steve Kaufmann, a famous polyglot, reveals his secret to learning various languages. That is: Don’t learn two languages at the same time. If you’re learning Russian, just focus on Russian. If you’re learning Japanese, just Japanese. Once you’ve progressed and achieved your goals, then proceed to another language. Linguistic theory doesn’t say that you’ll get confused when learning two languages at the same time. Our brain has the capacity to learn and acquire new knowledge. It’s just that, you’re not helping your brain focus and do its job of acquiring new stimuli. The result is not satisfying. Got my point?

So the next time you’re trying to learn something new, try to take one step at a time, as the cliche goes. Try to focus. Go at your own pace. You’ll be happier. And better.