If you are sending a text, watching the TV or listening to the radio, you may want to stop and give this your full attention.
Multi-tasking shrinks the brain, research suggests.
A study found that men and women who frequently used several types of technology at the same time had less grey matter in a key part of the brain.
University of Sussex researchers said: ‘Simultaneously using mobile phones, laptops and other media devices could be changing the structure of our brains.’
Worryingly, the part of the brain that shrinks is involved in processing emotion.
The finding follows research which has linked multi-tasking with a shortened attention span, depression, anxiety and lower grades at school.
The researchers began by asking 75 healthy men and women how often they divided their attention between different types of technology.
This could mean sending a text message while listening to music and checking email, or speaking on the phone while watching TV and surfing the web.z
The volunteers were then given brain scans which showed they had less grey matter in a region called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
The findings held even when differences in personality were taken into account.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first to make a link between multi-tasking and the structure of the brain.