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View Poll Results: Do you multi-task?
Yes, I am a compulsive multi-tasker. 16 48.48%
Yes, but I only multi-task when I am tight on time. 4 12.12%
No, I can stay focused and generally do. 6 18.18%
No. That sounds too much like w*rk! 7 21.21%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:Do you multi-task?
Old 09-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
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Poll:Do you multi-task?

I recently realized that I am becoming a compulsive multi-tasker! For example, when I am browsing this forum, I am usually also watching a movie on Netflix or Hulu. I can't just watch the TV -- I have to be surfing the net. as well. When I am driving, listening to the radio is not enough; I have to check my email on my phone simultaneously (which is illegal in this state). This is not due to any urgent deadlines. It's just that I am bored and want stimulation.

I am concerned that this is turning me into a compulsive email checker and restless person, so I'm trying to force myself to focus a little more. I see more and more people my age (31) with the same inability to concentrate.

So what's your experience?
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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Yes, I multitask but not as often as you do! I would never check e-mail, text, or even talk on my cell phone when driving, for example. I wouldn't be able to do that safely. There are so many nuts on the road.

I do multitask when just relaxing and having fun, playing a game on the Wii and another game on the PC simultaneously, for example. Like you, I always surf the net while watching TV. But given that I don't listen to commercials, that's almost not multitasking any more.

I only check my e-mail once or twice a week now that I am retired. I should do that more often.

I didn't check anything on the poll because none seemed to fit me.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:53 PM   #3
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I can relate, although when I drive I avoid texting/checking email/surfing the web (dangerous and illegal). I also don't like to talk on the phone while I drive.

I often use the TV as background noise. I don't really watch it as much as I listen to it unless a movie/show/series is really, really good. I might play some game, surf the web or check my email on my iPad while the TV is playing in the background (I am doing it right now!).

Now, if I am doing something truly important or enjoyable, I shut out everything and everybody else and completely focus on the task at hand. My wife calls it "the mode".
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:03 AM   #4
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I never multi-task. The swap-time for changing tasks is way too high for me. I do far better (rest, play, or back when I used to program at work) focusing on one thing for long periods of time.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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Yep, I always have news channels on while I am on the computer. DW and I often read with live TV news running in the background. It is pretty easy to catch the gist of the news and pause the book to focus on the TV if an interesting topic comes up. I also read while DW plays various shows on the DVR (NCIS, L&O, House, etc). This causes some friction since DW doesn't like my questions about what just happened on her shows.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:41 AM   #6
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Not really any choice but to continuously do so at work. A thousand distractions at once all the time, and never more than 50% of attention focused on the task at hand. Is it a big shock that I truly enjoy shutting off all the electronics and heading off into the woods?
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #7
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I quit multi-tasking when I retired. I only multi-tasked while w*orking at my job and for my family. Now that I'm retired, I go slowly and I'm enjoying it immensely - one thing at a time.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
I recently realized that I am becoming a compulsive multi-tasker! For example, when I am browsing this forum, I am usually also watching a movie on Netflix or Hulu. I can't just watch the TV -- I have to be surfing the net. as well. When I am driving, listening to the radio is not enough; I have to check my email on my phone simultaneously (which is illegal in this state). This is not due to any urgent deadlines. It's just that I am bored and want stimulation.
Is this multitasking or ADD? Interesting articles here
Quote:
Multi-tasking — Attention Deficit
Are We a Nation of ‘Psuedo-ADD’ Sufferers?

Society’s Breakneck Pace Encourages Lack of Focus, Concentration, Some Say

Americans often have hundreds of television channels to choose from, and high-speed Internet access, e-mail and personal digital assistants keeping them connected – but if you are so “connected” that you’re beginning to feel rather disconnected, you may not be alone, some mental health experts say.
We are becoming a nation of attention deficit disorder sufferers, says Dr. John Ratey, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of “Delivered from Distraction.”
“We value not spending much time thinking about one thing,” Ratey says. “These are hallmark symptoms of people with what we call pseudo-ADD.”
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:05 AM   #9
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Not really any choice but to continuously do so at work. A thousand distractions at once all the time, and never more than 50% of attention focused on the task at hand.
Not so much multitasking as playing “progressive resistance games at work” with a few differences – they're not games, they're not fun, with games you feel you are making progress to your goal.

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Is it a big shock that I truly enjoy shutting off all the electronics and heading off into the woods?
Enjoy the woods while you can. Sooner or later they will catch with you even there...
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:22 AM   #10
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I never multitask in the car, unless you count listening to the radio. Or I listen to a podcast which is a very similar task.

At home on the computer I used to also have the TV on and lately I don't turn on the TV. I'm learning that I enjoy it more one thing at a time. In the kitchen I tend to have the TV on while cooking and I'm basically listening, not watching.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:50 AM   #11
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Yes; I still work so it is a requirement.

At lunch, I eat at my desk typically. I watch a movie on one monitor, and surf the net, post here, facebook/email and/or respond to work related emails using the other monitor.

While driving in the city (on my 15 minute commute ) , I have to wait at a number of traffic signals that are loooong. I read the paper. But not while the car is moving. Just for the 1-4 minutes I find myself waiting. Cures boredom, and is relaxing.

At home I will occasionally surf on net (or do other productive computer tasks) while watching something on the tv/computer with DW or kids that I don't really care to watch.

I guess it is either ADD or a desire to do 28 hours worth of stuff in a 24 hr day.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:24 AM   #12
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Some national park campsites already provide wifi. I think they started this year. It's not good news for those of us wanting to unplug!

The only time in the last year that I didn't check email all the time was when we went on a cruise. I was too cheap to pay an outrageous price to surf the web aimlessly.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:37 AM   #13
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I did not answer the poll as the original posts seems to define multi-tasking different than what I would define it...

I CAN do a few things at one time... like read this forum and do work... I can switch back and forth with ease..

But, the OP seems to be saying it is a compulsion... I do NOT have any compulsion on checking emails etc... NOBODY texts me.. I get very few cell phone calls because I tell people it is for emergencies and just don't give the number out...


The OP seems to be a crackberry (or whatever it is called with the blackberry people)... I will never become one of those... just not interested...


PS... If you kill someone while you are doing your texting... I hope you go to jail... I would put you there if I were on the jury... (and yes, this is not nice)...
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post

PS... If you kill someone while you are doing your texting... I hope you go to jail... I would put you there if I were on the jury... (and yes, this is not nice)...
Just to clarify, I don't text or email when my car is actually moving. There are several stop lights/railroad crossings on my way to work. It's boring to sit there and wait for trains to show up.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:12 AM   #15
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I used to at w*rk and home (never while driving).
I seem to have lost the ability; don't know if that's good or bad.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Just to clarify, I don't text or email when my car is actually moving. There are several stop lights/railroad crossings on my way to work. It's boring to sit there and wait for trains to show up.

At least that is good... but there are enough that I see doing it while driving....

and the people who text at lights, when the light changes... I am behind them and have to honk to get them to move... and THEY get through the yellow light and I get stuck on the red as the light does not stay on if cars are not moving (turns)...


A number of years ago... a college student was reading a book as he plowed into the back of a stopped dump truck... did not even slow down.. died instantly... at least he paid the price for his reckless behavior... but I have been almost hit by people who are doing other things... not fun...
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:04 PM   #17
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I have to multitask at work (e.g. morning rounds with >10 interruptions related to emergencies - or, what other people think are emergencies!). I am often paged away from meetings, and sometimes am so busy that I answer urgent emails while participating (but not chairing) a teleconference. I do not talk on my cellphone while driving, not just because it's illegal but because I know I would not be able to devote my full attention to the road. However, I do plan to get bluetooth capability in my next car.

I find multitasking stressful. There's a recent study that shows that multitasking at work reduces productivity. In my personal life I prefer to focus on one thing at a time.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:10 PM   #18
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I used to do it at work. Now my limit is catching something on TV while typing on this beast. But when something comes on TV of interest, I stop typing.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #19
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It's a female thing.

Being a male, I can only think about one thing

If it's more than that, it's very unusual and mostly limited to just one other task (OK, I'm multi-tasking, but since I'm a guy, always subtract one...)
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:13 PM   #20
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I used to multi-task all the time at work, but prioitized as best as possible to avoid thrashing which results in a lot of inefficiency.

I always had e-mail notification turned off - I would check it on my schedule.

I would glance at my phone when it rang to see the caller id and unless it was my boss or something I thought was urgent I would let the answer service take a message. Same with my cell phone.

If I had someone in my office I would never answer the phone, unless I was ready for them to be gone, and then I would say, "Would you excuse me but I need to take this particular call".

Now that I'm retired I'll surf the web while radio or background TV is playing but if it is a program that needs attention such as a drama or mystery etc, then I put the computer away.

I never phone or text while driving.

I never listen to music, stories etc while riding my cycle and have even given up doing this while walking since I almost stepped in front of a car a few years back. (I do listen to stuff while on a treadmill etc)

About 18 months ago I was running on a treadmill listening to music on my iPod and looking out the gym window at the pool. A pretty, bikini-clad, girl stepped out of the pool and walked right towards me to the lounger under the window. I lost my balance and fell off . I hadn't realized that the blinds were a safety feature, and after that was sure to close them when the pool was in use and I was running on the treadmill
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