As a student or a working professional, you’ve probably been taught the value of multitasking: the ability to do more than one task, or think about more than one thing, simultaneously.
As a student, multitasking can lead to efficiency and positive outcomes, but it can also create a lack of focus and other issues. Students, in particular, may try to multitask, especially if they’re working while going to school or taking on a big class load. Here are the pros and cons of multitasking as a student:
Pros of multitasking:
Being as productive as possible
Saving time and money
Keeping the mind engaged
Increasing resilience in a busy life
Cons of multitasking:
Not focusing enough on one important thing at a time
Lessening the mastery of one particular skill
Decreasing time for creative thinking
There is no doubt that multitasking means more things can be done faster. But it can also have a negative impact on the mind and our ability to retain the information we really need. Students need to give their undivided attention to a topic to truly understand it. It may be hard to remember facts or processes when thinking about other things.
Fortunately, there are best practices you can follow to avoid the cons of multitasking. These four tips will get you started:
Multitasking may be our only option when we’re desperate to get things done. But instead of stepping into that busy mindset, slow things down. Practice slow-motion multitasking when you have more than one project at once, but you can move back and forth between them depending on your situation or mood.
One of the biggest distractions and time wasters for students is the smartphone. Whether you’re reading a book for class, studying for a test, or writing a paper, put your phone in the other room or turn it off completely. Then, you won’t be tempted to try to check social media, answer texts or check your email while you work.
Sometimes the brain can focus on something else even while you’re exercising. Try listening to an audiobook for school while you run on the treadmill or bringing a book to the exercise bike. Or simply take breaks during your day to go for a walk or do yoga to clear your mind completely. You’ll then be able to return to work with a fresh start.
It’s easy to think about all the errands you have to run when you should be studying. Instead, set aside an hour or two in your day when you can cross off your to-do list. Then, you can devote your mind to schoolwork when the time comes.
As a MedCerts student, you have the flexibility to study on your own time, and you may have more than one thing on your to-do list for the day. Multitasking doesn’t always have to be negative, but there are healthy ways to manage it so it’s not getting in the way of your coursework for your MedCerts program.
Julie Campos is the Senior Director of Operations and Student Success at MedCerts. She brings over 14 years of experience in Online Higher Education in both Student Support and Enrollment and started her career at the University of Phoenix, serving most of her tenure as a student-facing leader.
Julie has her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are student support in online higher education environments and working with nontraditional students. At MedCerts, she is focused on creating a pro-active student central support model for MedCerts students to reach their goals and has developed the MedCerts Student Support and Outreach Model, created MedCerts Student Success Advisor reports and Dashboards, as well as the Student Success Advisor Playbook. Her proactive approach to student support has been crucial in meeting MedCerts’ student’s needs, as well as completion and certification goals.
Julie has three children – a 10-year-old son and 12- and 4-year-old daughters, who keep her and her husband busy with sports. She is also an avid crafter with an entire room of her home dedicated to the hobby. In her free time, she enjoys teaching wreath making and even has a few “how-to” YouTube videos on the subject!