Laurie Tarkan, Fox News: You might assume you have to kick it into high gear when you’re juggling emails, phone calls and multiple projects, but a new study shows that slowing down, or specifically, meditating, can make you a better multitasker – and a more productive employee.
Much has been written about the downside to multitasking: It’s been shown to make workers less accurate and efficient, it hampers your ability to filter out irrelevant information, (in other words to focus on the task at hand), and it increases stress and other negative feelings.
Researcher David Levy, a computer scientist and professor at the …
Anita Bruzzese: All sorts of gizmos and gadgets can help you be more productive at work, and theories abound on how you should structure your days to get more done.
But a new study finds that becoming more focused, productive and less stressed at work may involve nothing more than learning to meditate.
David Levy, a computer scientist and professor with the Information School at the University of Washington, found that those who had meditation training were able to stay on task longer and were less distracted. Levy and his co-authors discovered that meditation also improved test subjects’ memory while easing their stress …
Need to do some serious multitasking? Some training in meditation beforehand could make the work smoother and less stressful, new research from the University of Washington shows.
Work by UW Information School professors David Levy and Jacob Wobbrock suggests that meditation training can help people working with information stay on tasks longer with fewer distractions and also improves memory and reduces stress.
Their paper was published in the May edition of Proceedings of Graphics Interface.
Levy, a computer scientist, and Wobbrock, a researcher in human-computer interaction, conducted the study together with Information School doctoral candidate Marilyn Ostergren and Alfred Kaszniak, a neuropsychologist at the University of Arizona.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study … Read more »
Tina Barseghian: There’s no question that for both kids and adults, our attention is divided. Texts, emails, Twitter, Facebook are all chiming, ringing, beeping, and chirping for our attention.
How does this affect kids? The media has covered the subject in terms of fear of multitasking leading to ADD, losing control to digital devices, and the dangers of not being able to focus. And in most cases, the Internet (and technology in general) has been declared the culprit.
But rather than blaming the medium, David Levy, author of Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age, believes the challenges of multitasking …
The act of driving requires our full attention. I know of a woman who drove through her garage door one morning because she was on automatic pilot and didn’t notice that it was still closed! The lapse of a split second can have devastating results. How do you approach your morning drive?
Do you use the morning drive to prepare for the day to come? Is driving a placeholder, a time for fitting in extraneous activities? Do you let the frustrations of the road soak into your body and spirit, filling you with anger or draining you of energy? A one-minute mindfulness approach to driving can improve your emotional tone, stress level, and ability to … Read more »
I just read a news story about an 18-year-old woman whose car went out of control and hit a dump truck. The woman and her 10-month-old son were killed. On her phone was a half-finished text message.
Now, not all multitasking is as catastrophic as that. We do it all the time, don’t we?
But why do we do it? Sometimes we say it’ll make us more efficient, but if you’re trying to type a report and keep interrupting yourself to send text messages and check Facebook, you’re not exactly being very efficient. It seems to me that what’s really going on is that we’re being anxious, and trying to find a distraction from our … Read more »
We live in a world filled with input from television, radios, the Internet, social networks, email, news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, white papers, books, Kindles, movies and more.
Our society is fast paced and we are proud of our ability to multitask. We begin our days by listening to the news as we get dressed in the morning. On the way to work or school, we listen to the radio in the car and use ear phones to listen to music or talk on our cell phones.
Our days are filled with talking, doing, accomplishing, gathering, spending, earning, and accumulating facts, relationships and material things. We are fast becoming human doings rather than human beings. All … Read more »
It’s October, so schools are back, bringing with them the stresses of academic life. And therefore there is a bunch of news stories focusing on meditation for students and teachers.
An article in “The Tack,” the newspaper of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, has an opinion piece on “Mindful Studying.” There’s no hard news here, but the author, who arrived at BVU “intending on majoring in psychology” found himself fascinated by mindfulness, and he cites psychologist Ellen Langer‘s view that “simply being mindful of one’s environment … can vastly improve student performance, whilst allowing one’s mind to drift off (ie. mindlessness) can result in the deterioration of student performance.”
In New Jersey, … Read more »
I’ve been meaning to mention an article I read recently in the Harvard Business Review, called How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking. It’s by Peter Bregman, and it explains, as the title suggests, how and why he stopped multitasking and started paying attention to one thing at a time (what I’ve called “uni-tasking”).
Bregman lists some of the benefits he experienced, and I’ve summarized those below (but do go and read the full article, which expands on these points).
Alicia W. Roberts: Even brief sessions can help with multitasking, dealing with deadlines – and pain relief, too
Fadel Zeidan has proven that minimal training in meditation can lessen the perception of pain in research subjects.
He also has shown that similarly brief sessions of meditation can increase cognitive function – the ability to multitask, recall items in a series and complete tests on a deadline.
Now, he wants to find out why even short stints of meditation affect the brain that way.
As a post-doctoral fellow at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, Zeidan is building on research he started at UNC Charlotte. Using…