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Mitigating the mental fatigue from multitasking

Employees often engage in multitasking to cope with overwhelming to-do lists. While this can help some, it can lead to mental fatigue for those with less cognitive resources, or “brain power.” Multitasking requires self-regulation, or keeping oneself on track, which consumes significant brain power as it isn’t frequently practiced, so it cannot be done simultaneously with other actions. Thus, people with less brain power are more susceptible to resulting mental fatigue.

Ravi Kudesia and his colleagues found that people with less cognitive resources who engaged in mindfulness practices reported having more mental energy. This indicates mindfulness training can help people practice self-regulation and become more efficient, mitigating the mental fatigue and cognitive strain.