Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Multitasking makes us stupid?

with 4 comments

I have been a huge fan of the concept of doing one task at a time, and giving it my best shot. I have, over the years, taken a few flaks for suggesting the same to some of my friends and colleagues. I used to wonder, "how do they manage to do justice to what they are doing?".

I tried it out for sometime (like mixing browsing and chatting-on-the-phone) and soon found out that I am doing a bad job at both. I just can't do either one of them efficiently. So I stopped soon enough. 

Now-a-days, I see lot of guys and gals mixing phoning with driving. I can clearly see that at least 90% of the guys are just not "here" as they are doing their double act. They are very likely causing innumerable accidents — both major and minor — everyday.

Yes, I agree there are certain activities that can be done in parallel. But we are trying to fool ourselves into believing that we can both drive and talk at the same time. We cannot. It is just a miracle that we are not getting involved in serious accidents every time we indulge in serious talk+drive sessions.

Well, now, there is proof emerging that multitasking makes us stupid. Nice article. Well worth your time. It is written by none other than Kathy Sierra, of the Head First Series fame. In fact, there are so many good articles — both general and programming related — out there in that site.

I whole heartedly support and approve this theory. What do you think? Are you on the phone as you are reading this? ;)

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Written by Proto

March 28, 2006 at 00:31 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

4 Responses

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  1. Wondering whether you listen to music while you work?
    Does that also come into this purview??

    Arun

    March 28, 2006 at 09:45 hrs

  2. “Wondering whether you listen to music while you work?
    Does that also come into this purview??..” – It makes u stupid only if you are not one already ……..

    P.N.Subramanian

    March 29, 2006 at 11:42 hrs

  3. Apple, there are certain activities that we can do unconsciously (like listening to music) and others that is not so easy. Both chatting on the phone and driving are activities that cannot be relegated to the auto mode. Hope it helps to clarify your doubt.

    Proto

    March 30, 2006 at 02:37 hrs

  4. When we are adept in doing something we can multitask. For example, when we drive/ride to office, though we r not on phone, our mind would not concentrate on driving 100%. We tend to think of issues at office /home etc. We would have concentrated on driving if that was the first time we are driving or if you have to explore a new area and find the routes. So my observation is that, when one knoes that he/ she adept at something (mostly that are mechanical work) they tend to multitask. It is more of practice that matters here.

    Gayathri

    April 12, 2006 at 09:21 hrs


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