Author Topic: Great article on multitasking or task switching  (Read 3978 times)

LongHaul

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Great article on multitasking or task switching
« on: November 01, 2016, 12:45:43 PM »
Great article on the cons of multitasking or task switching. 

The costs to multitasking are extreme if looked at over a period of decades.  I think it is generally very harmful.
I try to monotask as much as possible. 

http://coschedule.com/blog/multitasking-and-productivity/


Jurgis

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Re: Great article on multitasking or task switching
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 02:02:52 PM »
Interesting

<wait gonna check my email>

article

<let me restart my software tests>

but

<gonna nibble on that cracker a bit>

what was I saying?
"Human civilization? It might be a good idea." - Not Gandhi
"Before you can be rich, you must be poor." - Nef Anyo
"Money is an illusion" - Not Karl Marx
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"American History X", "Milk", "The Insider", "Dirty Money", "LBJ"

Jurgis

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Re: Great article on multitasking or task switching
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 02:19:59 PM »
Seriously though, I'd probably die if I had to focus on single task.

Sometimes single tasking works great. You're in the zone, you write something post/email/program concentrating just on it. Or you read something concentrating just on it.

Sometimes single tasking sucks:
1. There are real interruptions in work. I.e. you do compile your program, you do run tests. You can pretend that this is not interruption, but it is. Your choice is either task switch or to meditate until you can continue. Maybe the solution is to meditate. But it's still a real interruption and real task switch. (Yeah, you can try to get better tools and environment to avoid these as much as possible.
2. Sometimes things just need time to settle. This happens quite a bit to me. You read something, you write a reply and then half hour later you have much better reply, better arguments, better understanding etc. Or you are trying to do something and it's not working. But next day you have new ideas how to do it, new insights, etc. If you push for single tasking, you lose all of these. So task switching is pretty much key solution here. Unless you're genius and you have best response to everything immediately.
3. Poor cousin of 2: sometimes you don't get into the zone and work is just not happening. Switch might help. The danger corollary though: you can procrastinate by persuading yourself that work is not happening. So careful here.
4. Task switching because one task is boring-but-you-have-to-participate. Yeah, I know that teleconference example from the article. Yeah, you have to decide if you can just skip the boring meeting instead of task switching. Sometimes you can't. Then you have to decide whether you're better off trying to follow all the boring stuff in it, or task switch. Yeah, this is risky as the example suggests. And, yeah, you're not gonna get 100% from either of tasks that you do in such case. This one is the most dicey out the four. Tread carefully.

<Tests just finished, switching back to my other work>

 8)
"Human civilization? It might be a good idea." - Not Gandhi
"Before you can be rich, you must be poor." - Nef Anyo
"Money is an illusion" - Not Karl Marx
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"American History X", "Milk", "The Insider", "Dirty Money", "LBJ"