Be More Productive

November 28, 2018

While recent studies have noted that multitasking is a pretty handy way to do multiple things poorly, new research shows that just believing you’re multitasking can actually boost your performance on that task.

Using a series of experiments, researchers at of the University of Michigan noted that when test subjects thought they were performing multiple tasks instead of just one -- for example, watching a documentary and taking notes instead of just transcribing the footage -- they did better on their assignment.

“Multitasking is often a matter of perception or can even be thought of as an illusion,” explains study co-author Shalena Srna in a press release by the Association for Psychological Science. “Regardless of whether people actually engage in a single task or multiple tasks, making them perceive this activity as multitasking is beneficial to performance.”

It’s thought that this “illusion” switches on more brain power for a given task -- though the researchers are quick to recommend not trying to multitask more just because of their findings.

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