Students often ask me how they can improve their performance in my classes. There’s one thing they can do that will increase their learning with no additional work on their part: stop multitasking.
Multitasking is bad. The research is clear: students, even today’s students who grew up multitasking, learn less when they’re doing other things at the same time. See, for example, here and here. It’s a very simple point: if you surf the Internet, email, text, instant message, talk on the phone, or watch TV while you’re studying (or in the classroom), you learn less. Effective study (and work) requires focus.
I could not agree more, even if I myself honor the rule mostly in the breach.