So You Think You Can Multitask?

Even though you might think you’re amazing at texting and driving (while eating your lunch), research shows that most people can only successfully focus on one task at a time.

According to research by David Strayer, director of the applied cognition lab at the University of Utah, 98% of people can’t multitask and don’t do either task as well when they try.

“Supertaskers,” on the other hand, make up a small 2% of the population and show no ill effects from multitasking.

In his research, Strayer put supertaskers through a series of tests including genetic evaluation and neuroimaging. The results indicated that supertaskers’ brains are structured differently than 98% of the population, and certain parts of the frontal cortex show less activity when multitasking. 

The conclusion is that if you are a supertasker, you know it. If you are a monotasker, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time in order to perform better.