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The Stress of Doing Nothing


This article was taken from another site (see link below) and posted on this blog by Leonardo Santos for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES


Why is multitasking so satisfying, even when you know you shouldn’t do it?

Do you multitask? You’ve probably heard that it can make you less productive, but that doesn’t stop us (maybe you, too) from doing it. And technology has only made it easier. We’ve been caught whipping out our MacBook Airs just moments after landing in a new destination. In fact, some of us feel stressed doing nothing. You can’t just consume, you have to create, too.

MORE: Are You Multitasking Too Much?

Why do you have this need to use up every minute of our time? A new study offers one reason: it’s satisfying. Those subjects who multitasked with different media sources weren’t more productive, but they were more emotionally satisfied. For example, a student who was watching TV while studying wasn’t more effective with their studying, but it gave them a little emotional boost anyway.

Researchers believe that the subjects were (mistakenly) attributing the good feelings to multitasking, when the entertainment source (TV) was what was really giving them the positive vibes.

We can relate to this finding (just a little bit…). At basketball games, Dr. Mike reads medical articles during the time-outs. Maybe the excitement of the game is what’s really serving as fuel for this work drive, rather than my feeling of using time efficiently.

Yet another recent study suggests that media multitasking (music, web surfing, e-mail, social networking) might not be as bad as you think: those who media multitasked the most were more efficient at soaking up everything at once.

Still, none of us are super human, so how can you calm your stress when you want to use up every minute of time? One way to start: sit and focus solely on your breath. That may seem like a tortuous request—a list of the things you could (and “should”) be doing may race through your head.


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