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(Some Guy)   Multitasking DOING ONE THING is for people AT A TIME who don't like WORKS to think BETTER too much   (azarask.in) divider line 39
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2801 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Aug 2010 at 6:28 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-26 03:17:54 PM
People who say they can multi-task, are just unaware they can't.

Dunning-Kruger effect.
 
2010-08-26 03:32:26 PM
I hate multitasking. I just prefer to do one thing well, do it quickly, and move on to the next task.
 
2010-08-26 03:53:52 PM
I can multitask, but it involves doing one thing, TIG welding.

I control the amperage with a foot pedal, the arc torch with my right hand, and add filler rod with my left.

So I'm doing three things at one time.

/And no, Farking during a conference call is not multitasking. Your Farking is actually suffering from trying to pay attention to the conference call.
 
2010-08-26 04:00:12 PM
For some people it isn't an option subby. I am expected to sit here and deal with phone calls, emails, and people coming to my desk dumping work on me all at the same time. Am I supposed to tell them "Sorry, I cannot help you while I'm doing this because it is not efficient. ta ta bye now.
 
2010-08-26 04:01:06 PM
LittleSmitty: I can multitask, but it involves doing one thing, TIG welding.

I control the amperage with a foot pedal, the arc torch with my right hand, and add filler rod with my left.

So I'm doing three things at one time.


Looks like someone didn't RTFA. Multitasking in this case was referring to do more than one thing at a time that requires a great deal of thought, not doing things that you are experienced at and can do fairly automatically.
 
2010-08-26 04:11:59 PM
Oh wow. Someone just applied Amdahls law to the brain.
 
2010-08-26 04:12:56 PM
I multi task... im watching red dwarf, shooting trouble reports, listening to my wife talk and fapping at the same time.
 
2010-08-26 04:13:57 PM
jmaster306: Looks like someone didn't RTFA. Multitasking in this case was referring to do more than one thing at a time that requires a great deal of thought, not doing things that you are experienced at and can do fairly automatically

It seems to me that this issue here isn't whether or not people can multitask, but rather the author's misunderstanding of the definition of multitasking in the first place:

mul·ti·task·ing

/ˌmʌltiˈtæskɪŋ, -ˈtɑskɪŋ, ˌmʌltaɪ-/ Show Spelled[muhl-tee-tas-king, -tah-sking, muhl-tahy-] Show IPA
-noun Computers
the concurrent or interleaved execution of two or more Jobs by a single CPU.

The key word here is "interleaved".
 
2010-08-26 04:48:08 PM
timujin: It seems to me that this issue here isn't whether or not people can multitask, but rather the author's misunderstanding of the definition of multitasking in the first place:

mul·ti·task·ing

/ˌmʌltiˈtæskɪŋ, -ˈtɑskɪŋ, ˌmʌltaɪ-/ Show Spelled[muhl-tee-tas-king, -tah-sking, muhl-tahy-] Show IPA
-noun Computers
the concurrent or interleaved execution of two or more Jobs by a single CPU.

The key word here is "interleaved".


Exactly. The author just had to state people don't have CPUs, and therefore can't multitask.
 
2010-08-26 05:50:04 PM
impaler: Exactly. The author just had to state people don't have CPUs, and therefore can't multitask.

I think the difference between CPU multitasking and the way it is used in regards to people is that the point is not to do multiple things simultaneously, but rather to bounce between tasks, getting them all done "at the same time".

I do this in my work. I'm a sys admin and I will start one task or process and while it's going, start another, then start a third and so on. When the first one finishes, I go back to it and complete the next step. I'm able to move back and forth between multiple activities this way.

This is the kind of thing people mean when they refer to multitasking, not the definition as it applies to computers. Perhaps it is wrong to use it that way, but it's how it is used in the modern parlance and, as with words like nauseous vs. nauseated or decimated, it's more important how a word is commonly used than the actual definition.

/that one still bugs me though.
 
2010-08-26 05:59:52 PM
timujin: This is the kind of thing people mean when they refer to multitasking, not the definition as it applies to computers.

maybe we should call it "MultiFindering?"


/Obscure?
//No, but lame, definitely.
///Ran 6.5.3 (or was it 6.3.5?) on a Plus.
 
2010-08-26 06:55:25 PM
As a mother WHAT IS IT SON? of three kids, STOP DOING THAT! I am getting a THAT"S IT! TIME OUT YOUNG MAN! kick.
 
2010-08-26 06:58:06 PM
You haven't mothered. It RULES...but if I ever did one thing at a time, I think my brain would just divide by zero and call it a day.
 
2010-08-26 08:05:05 PM
"Multitasking," at least how I see the word as being defined, is not something that is a simple decision.... You do it if you need to, or want to, and you can do it successfully.

If you can't meet the milestones of your job, then that's an actual problem (for your boss, and thus, for you).

Whether you meet milestones by attacking multiple goals in a parallel approach, or instead handle the critical path in a series approach, is really up to you. Whatever works best for you, and your particular situation, is best.

/Giga-tasker - and not entirely by choice. But I'm still employed!
 
2010-08-26 08:26:19 PM
timujin:

This is the kind of thing people mean when they refer to multitasking, not the definition as it applies to computers. Perhaps it is wrong to use it that way, but it's how it is used in the modern parlance and, as with words like nauseous vs. nauseated or decimated, it's more important how a word is commonly used than the actual definition.


I gotta say, that's pretty ironic.
 
2010-08-26 08:35:27 PM
Read an article the other week that said we are good at doing two things at the same time because the brain divides the problem to the two hemispheres of the brain, but then above 2 tasks you start to see rapid loss of response time. It was pretty interesting. This article just seemed boring and no study to back it up.
 
2010-08-26 08:54:21 PM
Truncks1: we are good at doing two things at the same time because the brain divides the problem to the two hemispheres of the brain,

Was any correlation w/ the types of the two problems in play at once discussed w.r.t. that whole thing about one side of the brain being "creative" and the other "logical"?

Not sure if I ever actually believed in that conjecture about creative and logical halves of the brain being effectively "distinct," but your comment reminded me of that for some reason...
 
2010-08-26 09:00:39 PM
Walker: For some people it isn't an option subby. I am expected to sit here and deal with phone calls, emails, and people coming to my desk dumping work on me all at the same time. Am I supposed to tell them "Sorry, I cannot help you while I'm doing this because it is not efficient. ta ta bye now.

Is whining about your job and acting snotty about it at the same time really multitasking?
 
2010-08-26 09:03:26 PM
www.freeimagehosting.net
I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on.
 
2010-08-26 09:32:16 PM
TheOther: Walker: For some people it isn't an option subby. I am expected to sit here and deal with phone calls, emails, and people coming to my desk dumping work on me all at the same time. Am I supposed to tell them "Sorry, I cannot help you while I'm doing this because it is not efficient. ta ta bye now.

Is whining about your job and acting snotty about it at the same time really multitasking?


According to our office secretary, yes. And you're rude to tell her to quit eavesdropping every conversation and butting in AND JUST TYPE HER GOD DAMN REPORTS INSTEAD OF TRYING TO BE A RECEPTIONIST/SECRETARY/PROJECT MANAGER/OFFICE MANAGER. YOU'RE A farkING UNEDUCATED UNQUALIFIED coont THAT THROWS shiat IN A PILE INSTEAD OF FILING IT AND NO ONE LIKES YOUR WORTHLESS ASS.

/hypothetical rant
 
2010-08-26 10:05:38 PM
I really get tired of those recent college grads we hire who tell me what brilliant multi-taskers they are, and revel in doing many different tasks at a mediocre level.

It's fun to tell my direct reports to close their notebooks, and pay attention. I like to watch them squirm because they are not used to having 5 minutes of self control over their narcissism.
 
2010-08-26 10:45:40 PM
multitasking is for procrastinators

/procrastinator
//not a multitasker
///just good at working REALLY fast
 
2010-08-26 10:49:39 PM
Running madly off in all directions is not multitasking.

/but try telling THEM that.
 
2010-08-26 10:58:42 PM
wjllope: Truncks1: we are good at doing two things at the same time because the brain divides the problem to the two hemispheres of the brain,

Was any correlation w/ the types of the two problems in play at once discussed w.r.t. that whole thing about one side of the brain being "creative" and the other "logical"?

Not sure if I ever actually believed in that conjecture about creative and logical halves of the brain being effectively "distinct," but your comment reminded me of that for some reason...


Here is the article, I really don't know enough to comment besides that it is interesting

http://www.livescience.com/health/brain-multitasking-limit-100415.html
 
2010-08-26 11:24:25 PM
Multi-tasking sucks...

Troubleshoot a stranger's laptop to get it connected to a certain IP address, test/troubleshoot a live webstream on one computer, test/troubleshoot a live webstream on a backup computer, test/fix the audio delay of said webstream, test/fix audio levels of multiple microphones spread throughout a room, ensure the owner of the laptop has the correct links and passwords to a certain website... all in a time limit of 30 minutes.

That's just not a fun job to do at a convention center.
 
2010-08-26 11:25:50 PM
Can you still talk on your cell phone while driving through a rainstorm on unfamiliar roads?

Uh...yeah. How much thinking does this author think that talking to someone requires? It's not like you're performing surgery or something.
 
2010-08-26 11:34:04 PM
Walker: For some people it isn't an option subby. I am expected to sit here and deal with phone calls, emails, and people coming to my desk dumping work on me all at the same time. Am I supposed to tell them "Sorry, I cannot help you while I'm doing this because it is not efficient. ta ta bye now.

It happened to me this week. Someone told my group he flat out would not answer the question we had for him.

God, programmers can be such prima donnas.
 
2010-08-27 12:19:31 AM
Multitasking ages the brain faster.

/Literally, you are damaging your brain.
//Many jobs nonetheless require it.
///Playing piano isn't multitasking just because you've got 10 fingers.
 
2010-08-27 12:46:13 AM
Normal People can multi-task simple things. Must focus for complex things. Do you see your brain surgeon texting while in operation?
 
2010-08-27 02:20:51 AM
All that stuff about it takes more time to do tasks concurrently than sequentially makes me wonder why a lot of employers expect their employees to do tasks concurrently instead of sequentially, especially when said employers know that doing tasks concurrently is less efficient.

For example.

Count the cash drawer for shift change. Stop counting the cash drawer to take care of a check-in. Momentarily stop taking care of a check-in to answer the phone and put the caller on hold. Go back to taking care of the check in. Get the check-in done. Get pool towels for a guest who happened to approach the front counter just as the check-in was done. Go to take care of the caller on the phone. Stop in the middle of taking care of the caller on the phone to answer a call from an in-house guest wanting a wake-up call. Finish taking care of the first caller. Go back to counting the cash drawer. Stop in the middle of that again to answer a call from a guest asking about the wireless internet. Finish counting the cash drawer.

I have repeatedly been in situations like that. I'm sure that most of you have similar stories about having to jump around from one task to the next and back again.

Clearly, it would be more efficient and faster to complete each task before going to the next task in the order that each task is received. Yet most employers expect their employees to jump around from one task to the next and back again even though that results in taking longer to get all the tasks done and increases employee stress. The question is why?
 
2010-08-27 04:09:59 AM
Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: All that stuff about it takes more time to do tasks concurrently than sequentially makes me wonder why a lot of employers expect their employees to do tasks concurrently instead of sequentially, especially when said employers know that doing tasks concurrently is less efficient.

My example: I was a rep for a sales company. I was on site to manage big problems. These problems involve a lot of testing, insight, inspections, etc. The Manager of the company I was at demanded that I answer customer service calls, while doing my more complex duties.

I had stopped being a phone jockey and had moved beyond that. So my problem was many-fold: I couldn't do the more demanding duties if I was answering entry-level phone calls. And I was not there to be a representative of the customer on the phone (if I farked up, my company would be blamed). And I gave up doing phone service years before that, I would not agree to do it again.

If I failed at the more important duties because I was constantly answering a phone, you know this manager would blame me. farking retards.

/farking asking a person who the customer is paying $1200/day, to answer phones, is ridiculous.
//You could get a team of people for that price.
///Yes that is what the customer was paying for me per day... yet still wanted me to answer phones.
////The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is paying, or doesn't care.
 
2010-08-27 04:10:47 AM
oops, correction: Rep for a software company, not sales... super bad mistake.
 
2010-08-27 04:14:21 AM
Yes that number is right. My company was charging the customer $1200/day for me. I lasted 3 1/5 years (it was meant to be 6 months). That's a lot of dough.
 
2010-08-27 05:14:12 AM
LittleSmitty: I can multitask, but it involves doing one thing, TIG welding.

I control the amperage with a foot pedal, the arc torch with my right hand, and add filler rod with my left.

So I'm doing three things at one time.


Actually, what you're doing is multi-threading: you have one
task (TIG welding) that has a number of sub-tasks that must be
performed at the same time.

(Your description, actually, is one of the best real-world
examples of multi-threading I've ever seen, and I will be
stealing borrowing it the next time I need to
explain the difference between multi-tasking and -threading).

/Not a multitasker myself; I have a DOS brain.
//And old school Apple DOS at that.
 
2010-08-27 07:19:18 AM
BackAssward: Normal People can multi-task simple things. Must focus for complex things. Do you see your brain surgeon texting while in operation?

No. I was asleep while he was texting during my
HEY LOOK BUTTERFLY-ICORNS!!

/Extended warranty! How could I lose!?
 
2010-08-27 09:54:06 AM
timujin: impaler: Exactly. The author just had to state people don't have CPUs, and therefore can't multitask.

I think the difference between CPU multitasking and the way it is used in regards to people is that the point is not to do multiple things simultaneously, but rather to bounce between tasks, getting them all done "at the same time".

I do this in my work. I'm a sys admin and I will start one task or process and while it's going, start another, then start a third and so on. When the first one finishes, I go back to it and complete the next step. I'm able to move back and forth between multiple activities this way.

This is the kind of thing people mean when they refer to multitasking, not the definition as it applies to computers. Perhaps it is wrong to use it that way, but it's how it is used in the modern parlance and, as with words like nauseous vs. nauseated or decimated, it's more important how a word is commonly used than the actual definition.

/that one still bugs me though.


But you're a man. This is a woman. She most certainly cannot shop at both Bloomingdale's and Sears, while cooking you dinner at the same time (unless she put the turkey in to slow roast before going shopping).

The truth here is that Womens jobs just can't be multitasked. Men's jobs of course, like fixing computers or cars, can always be multitasked with drinking beer, buying new tools and watching TV.
 
2010-08-27 11:55:59 AM
Yodacat: According to our office secretary, yes.

As someone who is trying to get their secretary canned I'm getting a kick out of this reply. If she spent more time working instead of worrying about what everyone is doing she'd get more done.
 
2010-08-27 05:04:07 PM
Makes sense to me, which explains why counting by 7's to 700 (of by 7's down from 700) helps my mind shut down at night so I can get to sleep.
 
BBH
2010-08-29 01:10:15 AM
The point is the human brain cannot focus on multiple tasks concurrently. Switching back and forth extremely quickly does not count. Eons of human evolution cannot be changed in 10 years.
 
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