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Friday, October 13, 2006

A limit to multi-tasking

NEWTON

Everyone is familiar with multi-tasking. Reading e-mails while talking on the phone. Preparing dinner and trying to watch the evening news on TV. Writing out a shopping list while sitting in a meeting.

Nikki Hyatt of Newton knows what it's like to try to do a million things at once. The receptionist and administrative coordinator told MSNBC that she barely has time to monitor appointments, e-mails, and questions at her company.

"I'm sure there's a limit, but you just try to juggle them all, if you can," she said.

There is only so much people can do at one time. A new study confirms that there is a limit to multi-tasking. Hal Pashler, professor at the University of California, San Diego says that when people start overlapping tasks, their memories suffer.

"If you talk on the cell phone and drive to work, you don't crash the car, but you may forget where you parked it," said Pashler.

-- Erica Tochin

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