Eating dinner, watching TV, and also skimming a report? Stick to two activities (or one!): Your brain can’t handle more than two big tasks simultaneously, suggests a 2010 study in Science. Why? A part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex helps divide the work so that half the region attends to one task while the other focuses on the second one, leaving no room to juggle a third.
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4. Practice mindfulness
During breaks at home or on the job, take some steady, deep breaths and simply concentrate on your inhalations and exhalations. The Buddhist technique has been shown to improve mental performance by helping ground your mind in the present, instead of letting it wander throughout the day.