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Can Multitasking Make You Gain Weight?

If you've been reading this blog or many others on time management and productivity, you know that multitasking is bad for you. While it's propped up by human resources departments around the globe as a necessary 'skill' for countless jobs, researchers are finding that people work better and faster when they focus on one task at a time.

Too much multitasking can lead to a loss of concentration, stress, and plenty of other side effects of simply not getting enough done. But does it affect your physical health? A new study suggests that multitasking might be linked to excessive weight gain.

According to a small study conducted by professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University and discussed at BNET, the fatigue from constantly changing your mindset lowers your ability to self-regulate impulses. According to Hamilton, this includes resisting the urge to grab an unhealthy snack.

Could this be the wake-up call needed to get people to start focusing properly on their work? Maybe for a few of us. Even if you're not worried about junk food, it's also important to realize that impulse control also applies to distractions.

If you're constantly losing time to compulsive email checking, social media maintenance, a game or app on your smart phone, or visiting a particular non-work website, you'll be wasting your time a lot more by not going through tasks one by one.

Find a system that works for you. Whether that's the Pomodoro method or something less rigid, try to plan your day around the things you want to accomplish, and dedicate your full attention to getting them done. Set aside small breaks to check your email, text messages, or other correspondence, and stop relying on reminders and aggregators that alert you every time someone wants to talk.

Take back your time, and maybe save a couple inches off of your waistline, if the conclusions of this latest study are true.


Photo by puuikibeach.


Dr. Rob Rawson is a medical doctor, internet entrepreneur and a time management expert. He is currently traveling around the world whilst managing a business with 45 staff.

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