O, The Oprah Magazine | From the August 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Feeling overwhelmed? Juggle your to-do list like a multitasking pro with this expert advice.
Don't try to learn.
"Results are always worse when you multitask, but in some areas they're especially compromised," says Russell Poldrack, PhD, associate professor of psychology at UCLA. Learning takes a big hit, for instance. "Our research shows that if you try to master something while splitting your attention, brain activity switches regions—from memory building to short-term habit making," he says.
A good rule of thumb is to multitask what you want to execute, rather than absorb, and choose jobs where mistakes won't matter.