The right kind of multitasking
You’re a student, not a circus performer. So stop juggling and start strategizing.
At a Glance: To lower stress and improve academic performance, stop multitasking. Learn to manage.
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 11 seconds
You know how stressed you feel when you try to do several difficult things at once? That’s a sign you’re not multitasking correctly. In fact, you may even be doing more harm than good. Studies have shown that multitasking incorrectly can actually hinder memorization and lead to poor performance. Instead, make like an executive and get strategic. It’s time to manage — not multitask — your way to a low-stress, high-success Phoenix career. Here’s how:
Pair a “no-brainer” with a challenge
Match a challenging task such as schoolwork with a task that doesn’t require a ton of brainpower, such as exercise. Studies show this approach might actually improve performance.
Housework + meeting = 20 extra minutes
Invest in a $10 pair of headphones so you can fold laundry while talking to your small group. You might finally get to the bottom of that bottomless hamper.
Workout + coursework = 45 extra minutes
Add a $50 laptop stand or tablet bracket for your exercise bike, so you can work out while logging on to your online classroom. You’ll burn off calories and stress instead of burning the midnight oil.
Commute + review = 1 extra hour
Turn your travel time into a study session by downloading our mobile app (http://www.phoenix.edu/students/how-it-works/online-resources/university-of-phoenix-mobile-app.html) for the train or bus. If you’re driving, hand the phone to a passenger and have them quiz you on a recent assignment.
Multitask in multi-player mode
Enlist your troops to help you. After all, four hands are better than two. A key component of multitasking well is delegating well.
You cooking + your kid on dish duty = 25 extra minutes
Even an elementary-schooler can set the table and load the dishwasher, giving you time to complete an assignment. Involve an older child in food prep and you won’t be the only one learning.
Housecleaning x 2 people = 30 extra minutes
One person takes the bathroom; the other takes the kitchen. One sweeps; the other vacuums. Earning an education is a family partnership. Everyone should pitch in.
Give your smartphone a curfew — and avoid media mayhem
We all love (and need) our screen time. But, sometimes having so many entertainment options at our fingertips can distract from the work we have to get done. Structure your screen time to maximize your time.
1 hour of coursework – social media = 16.8 extra minutes
While online, Americans spend 28 percent of their time on social media — an interruption that could seriously cut down on your studies. Try scheduling dedicated email and social media sessions so you can save your eyes and brain for learning. Outside of those sessions, cut down on push notifications and concentrate on meeting your goals.