Why Multitask When you Can Supertask?


Through extensive studies, researchers have found that some people have a unique ability to block out distractions and effectively complete multiple tasks at once.


To balance work and life, or keep them separate? To stay connected, or turn it all off? We’re surrounded by conflicting advice and confusing studies that leave us questioning our choices even more. At the core of these lifestyle challenges is the ability to multitask.

Ironically enough, earlier this year, scientists spoke out about an almost super-human ability called “supertasking.” Through extensive studies, researchers found that some people have a unique ability to block out distractions and effectively complete multiple tasks at once. They realized that what most of us consider multitasking actually involves transitioning between different assignments. However, these “supertaskers” were able to simultaneously complete numerous tasks without the anxiety most of us feel when we try to multitask.

Moreover, the key to being a successful supertasker is to block out distractions. Researchers found that this ability was what actually separated the supertaskers from their counterparts. Furthermore, blocking out distractions is the first piece of advice Fast Company’s Lindsay Levine offers. Sometimes it’s better to isolate yourself if it means getting the job done on time.

The next is to focus on what you can control and ignore the rest. In other words, make choices about what you can and cannot handle, then you remain in the driver’’s seat. Taking on too much at once is most likely the root of failure for those who try to multitask.

Last, Daphne Bavelier suggests that playing video games is one of the best ways to train your brain to “supertask.” For example, in a game like Call of Duty, Levine explains that players are challenged to “read instructions, make quick strategic decisions, and concentrate to complete tasks amid many distractions such as whizzing bullets and sound effects.” Mastering games like this will train your mind to quickly process an abundance of stimuli.

Of course, everyone has his or her own “life hacks” or ways of coping with an always-on lifestyle. For more on this topic check out “Meditation: Pressing the Reset Button May Be the Cure to Workplace Stress.”