Becoming An Adult Takes Concentrated Work

We've all heard it: multitasking is killing productivity and relationships. And that there is really no such thing as multitasking.

Twenty years ago, my uncle told me that "We live in an age where there are constant requests for us to divide our attention.

Remember when people used to ask for our undivided attention?

Perhaps you've heard Sherry Turkle's TED talk "Connected but Alone." (Not anti-technology by any stretch, just a case for more awareness around how it changes our behavior.)

And now this piece, "Why Single Tasking is the New Multitasking." (Andrew Merle, HuffPost)

I hear from some students that they are having a hard time getting things done. That they need more time to do it. That they are spending four to six hours on homework every night.

How can we help? Do we understand the issue? Are we watching how they are working? Are we careful observers of what their work looks like? If we want to help them, we have to know what they are doing and how they are doing it.

Maybe we can also help ourselves. Right?

So here's the (perhaps all-to-familiar) list from Merle's piece on how to help ourselves:

Need one more video to get you through this five minutes of life? ;-) Try this clip about what your brain does when you *try* to do more than one thing at a time. (SPOILER: slower, more mistakes => less efficient and less productive.)


The Wonderful Teenage Brain

“[Adolescence is] a stage of life when we can really thrive, but we need to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Got three minutes? Give this piece from KQED a quick read. It's a wonderful glimpse into the developing brains of teenagers. Many points will be familiar to you if you've attended our series of evening conversations for parents of teenagers, especially the "dopamine squirts" that Dr. Crystal Collier talked about with us in December.

Those teenage physiological responses that create the increased likelihood of engaging in risky behavior are also the reason why the neuroscientist quoted in the article says,
"Nothing will ever feel as good to you for the rest of your life as it did when you were a teenager..."