In a separate interview, Shira Offer, lead author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Bar Ilan University in Israel, said that this emotional component is an essential takeaway of the study. “This helps explain why women feel more burdened than men. It’s related not just to the amount (of work they’re doing), but to their experience when they multitask.”
How to Do Two Things at Once … Better
In an era where most moms wouldn’t dare be caught without their “workloads” (aka iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones), it can be hard to know when it’s time to focus on one task at a time. “Your brain is conditioned to want to make switches between jobs, and the key is to stop the conditioning by turning off the buzzes, vibrations and beeps that distract us,” says Dave Crenshaw, author of “The Myth of Multitasking: How ‘Doing It All’ Gets Nothing Done.”
We tapped Crenshaw for other helpful tips to make the most of multitasking:
Flip the Switch
Activities can be divided into one of two categories—”switch” or “background.” Switch multitasking occurs when a person tries to do two or more things at the same time that both require attention, like having a phone conversation while getting her kids dressed for school. Background multitasking occurs when two things happen at the same time, but one doesn’t require much thought, like running on a treadmill while watching TV. “Background tasking can actually be very efficient,” says Crenshaw. “The problem occurs when people try to do switch tasking.”
Make Conversation King
Multitasking while engaged in your favorite form of media is almost always a no-no, say the experts. Turn off the radio or television and put down your book when someone is trying to have a conversation with you. “You can do a lot of damage to a relationship if you multitask when someone is trying to talk to you, because that communicates that the person is not as important as your other task,” says Crenshaw.