Hey, ready for soccer practice? Don’t think I can make it. Gotta finish my essay for tomorrow’s class. Hahaha! Check this out Nana! Isn’t it funny?! I didn’t think this essay would take so long, but looks like it’s taking a lot longer. Umm…Maybe it’s because you’re not concentrating? See? Text messages are distracting you. This? It’s no big deal. It’s only a few seconds. What about that video you’re also watching on your screen? That’s nothing. It’s just background noise. Anyway, I’m really good at multi-tasking. Really? Multi-tasking is really misleading. You think you are getting a lot of stuff done because you feel busy, but instead of doing one thing well, you do a lot of things badly. What? That’s not true. Every time you switch your attention, it takes a while for your brain to refocus. That becomes lost time. By switching back and forth frequently, you don’t develop the ability to concentrate. What’s wrong with that? Well for one thing, as schoolwork gets harder, you need to be able to concentrate for longer periods of time – you know, so you can solve problems and write essays. If you can’t build the ability to concentrate, it will get harder and harder to understand. Your grades can suffer. And on top of that, when you can’t concentrate it’s easier for you to get bored, and anxious. It’s a drag if you can’t be happy without constant distractions. It can be really stressful. It can make you unhappy. Hmmm… I think you need to be smart to do many things at once. So doing all these things is good brain training! That’s a bit like training for a marathon by playing badminton. Learning to focus and concentrate is a skill you need and all the multi-tasking in the world isn’t helping you get better at that. So what should I do? Make sure you give yourself time each day when you focus. When you do your homework, switch off all the distractions until you are done. When you read a book, turn your phone and computer off. Make time every day to give your brain a break from constant interruption. Okay I’ll try… Nana! Wait up! Hey JJ! So how’d it go with switching off for a while? I finished writing the essay a lot quicker. And guess what? See! That’s awesome.