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May 29, 2012

There's No "Multi" in "Multi-Tasking"

Some people call switching our attention between things that vie for it “multi-tasking”. Like were a computer with dual cores running two simultaneous processes.
Except that we’re not. Numerous brain imaging studies have shown that what we call “multi-tasking” in humans, is not multi-tasking at all. Your brain is merely trying to rapidly switch it’s attention between two tasks. Back and forth, as quickly as it can. It’s shown not only that we’re dumber when we do this (an average of 10 IQ points dumber – that’s the same as pulling an all-nighter.), but that we’re also 40% less efficient at whatever it is we’re doing. -- Joe Kraus Blog

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 29, 2012 11:07 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Pilots, when trying to "multi-task" during critical or emergency situations, inevitably make problem worse. Rule number one: fly the aircraft. When that is managed: aviate, navigate, and last, communicate.

Posted by: stephen b at May 29, 2012 2:24 PM

Has there ever been a clearer explanation of the female of the species?

Posted by: Casca at May 29, 2012 2:27 PM

In software development, the rule is if you are in the "flow" of work it will take 10-15 minutes to regain the flow state for each interuption.

Posted by: Director at May 29, 2012 7:02 PM

"Aviate" means "fly the airplane".

Posted by: Larry Sheldon at May 31, 2012 2:14 PM

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