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  1. #11
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Yep, I can multi-task. For example, I'm currently replying to you, ironing about 3 years worth of ironing, singing, dancing and drinking, all at the same time. I can't vouch for the quality of the ironing...or the singing....the drinking is good tho'....

  2. #12
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I think NTPs generally like to multitask. Even when I'm hanging out on the forums, I'm thinking about/reading 3 or 4 things at once. Maybe it's because we're more about the process than the result?

    I think you're maybe focusing too much on the "without sacrificing quality" phrase--as long as there isn't a huge dip in quality, it's no big deal.

    Now, I'm not all that great at multitasking if it involves something really boring, like the bureaucratic record-keeping stuff that goes along with being a teacher.

  3. #13
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I'm pretty sure there's studies out there that have proven unless there's some attention deficit, no one is better at multi-tasking than individually addressing each topic. Have I seen these studies? No. I am just assuming.

    Just duck the straight yes/no answer and go on to say you are extraordinarily competent at "maintaining superior results" while multitasking.

    Maintenance of the same results would be a lie for an IxxJ, but maintenance of "superior results" is a categorical, more vague definition of the word, and thus lets you answer it the way the phrasing clearly expects a "right" answer without any lying involved.

    Any idiot that phrases a question like that clearly doesn't know what they're looking for when they're hiring someone anyway. They just want a competent and likable employee, which you are. Tell them why they should want you.

    Great answer.
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  4. #14

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    For me multi-tasking usually results in lower quality.

    Actually "focus on multiple tasks at once" seems like a contradiction in terms to me since, if your attention is divided between multiple things, then it is not focused, by definition.

    ---
    I do sometimes feel a bit of a rush of believing I'm accomplishing a lot of things done at the same time by multi-tasking. But most of the time, I have had to repay the benefit by correcting for mistakes or having to completely re-do what I did earlier.

    ---
    I suspect extroverts may be more likely to say they multi-task well. Especially, the "Get-Things-Going" types (ENFP, ESFP, ENTP, ESFJ).

    I think multi-tasking may be effective for "executive" job positions, that rely on other individuals to take care of the actually quality of work-- because there isn't "quality" per say in the act of delegation. It is more about getting people on tasks and getting them working, than really doing some sort of high-quality assignment of tasks.

    Of course, longer-term placement of people in positions would require more care.

    ----
    Interestingly, from a computational perspective, this is similar to the problem computer architects and software engineers have in making use of multiple threads of execution.

    On the one hand, you get the hardware utilization up, so that execution units, etc. aren't as idle as serial execution.

    On the other hand, the programs get more complicated--you have to pay for the overhead of parallelizing the tasks, which includes synchronization between tasks and maintaining coherence of the data being shared.

    ---

    Anyone read CrazyBusy?
    I suspect substitute has because of the story about using a rotary telephone.

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  5. #15
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    I think you're right... in fact, I'm almost positive. You can task-switch between multiple things, but the quality *will* suffer. Not much doubt about it - I ran into a book discussing this the other day in the bookstore (can't remember the title ), and basically it said that it's a neurological fact - there is degradation of quality, response time, etc. when trying to juggle multiple tasks, be they mental or physical. You'll tend to prioritize them, and spend more time and effort on the more important one, but performance of both will suffer. Now if they're both trivial, you may be fine anyway (the old "walk and chew gum at the same time" thing), but for anything that takes effort it's just not possible to do two things as well as one. I don't think personality type really has much to do with it.
    You're right about what the book said. I've been doing some searching around online and I found out that task-switching usually takes so much time that it usually ends up being counter productive.

    That same article also said this:
    "In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers."
    The New Atlantis

    In my somewhat cynical opinion, this question really means "tell me that you can do multiple things perfectly at once, so that, if hired, I can pile multiple things on you and interrupt you constantly, and then blame you if you can't handle it all flawlessly."
    LOL! I suspected the very same thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Yup. It's me.
    I actually produce better results if I multitask than if I focus on one thing.
    If I focus on one thing, I get bored very quickly and then don't pay much attention, and tend to rush it off to get it done quicker. Inferior result.
    If I'm multitasking, the stimulation of it keeps my brain very active and I'm better able to pay attention to each thing that I'm doing simultaneously. Multiple superior results.
    Show off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    "Quality" needs to be defined...not verbally, written down. Most HR operatives would be loathe to do this I suspect. Quality on an assembly line differs from that in a tailoring establishment. I suspect that quality in the hiring context means "how much can we pile on you at our whim and your performance will not vary?" or "can you play this word-game?". A dynamic office environment certainly will require multi-tasking and rather more as a rule than an exception. With that in mind a competent manager should be able to arrange available resources to achieve the desired level of quality. More often than not I have found managers of all abilities tasked with producing "quality" without the necessary resources.

    I can take some multi-tasking as long as I have seen that the overall system that I am working within is a sucessful model. What I can't tolerate is when a flawed or incompetent system of management tries to compensate by squeezing resources beyond a prudent limit for no discernable gain.

    At the end of interviews with these type of questions I'll say "I can do anything you ask of me as long as you provide the necessary tools and resources". This usually leaves them looking baffled and suspicious as if I said something sinister.
    tee-hee
    I agree. I need to understand exactly when she means by multi-tasking. I am a mother. I do sometimes feel like I'm doing 5 things at once! It does depend on how complicated the job is as to whether the quality is going to suffer.
    But look at what I found today:
    "psychologist Ren Marois of Vanderbilt University, have used fMRI to demonstrate the brains response to handling multiple tasks. Marois found evidence of a response selection bottleneck that occurs when the brain is forced to respond to several stimuli at once. As a result, task-switching leads to time lost as the brain determines which task to perform.
    ...
    But his research has also found that multitasking contributes to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline, which can cause long-term health problems if not controlled, and contributes to the loss of short-term memory."

    The New Atlantis

  6. #16
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimahn View Post
    Yea I think this might have some type implications. I know personally with my INTJ dad he is the type that really maximizes his results if he is working on one thing. Me on the other hand I'm much like substitute, my mind just seems to turn and be a hell of a lot more resourceful and my attention does not wander. I have been diagnosed with ADD so that may be a reason but honestly more is better is something I sort of live by when it comes to attention(within reason). Guess its that lack of Te I need more information to choose from because I'm not ruthlessly efficient in organizing. I would parse too much or retain too much.
    So if it's that hectic of an office, she really needs an xNxP, I'm thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I'm pretty sure there's studies out there that have proven unless there's some attention deficit, no one is better at multi-tasking than individually addressing each topic. Have I seen these studies? No. I am just assuming.
    Your memory serves you correctly. I was just looking at some of it online.

    Just duck the straight yes/no answer and go on to say you are extraordinarily competent at "maintaining superior results" while multitasking.
    I already returned my questionnaire to her. I was actually going to print out some articles and try to disabuse her of her faulty notions!

    Maintenance of the same results would be a lie for an IxxJ, but maintenance of "superior results" is a categorical, more vague definition of the word, and thus lets you answer it the way the phrasing clearly expects a "right" answer without any lying involved.
    Ah. I see. That would have better than what I said.

    Any idiot that phrases a question like that clearly doesn't know what they're looking for when they're hiring someone anyway. They just want a competent and likable employee, which you are. Tell them why they should want you.
    Awww. What a sweetheart! Thank you!
    I tell you what. though. If she turns out to be an ESTJ, I am outta there!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimahn View Post
    ^ I think the difference lies in motivation. Some people just won't be as motivated if they're working on just one thing and some people are only motivated when they can invest all their resources and energies in one thing. Quality obviously will decrease with the more tasks you incur but some people can't rev up the motivation in order for that difference to be very noticeable in a singular task.

    I agree though, that was not a well worded question.
    I think I get what you're saying. I don't have that motivation problem because even as a kid it was always my goal to please my teachers and parents with my work.

  7. #17
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    It's like when Tallulah thought I was telling her what she feels... damned people telling me what I can and can't do! :steam:
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  8. #18
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    I think NTPs generally like to multitask. Even when I'm hanging out on the forums, I'm thinking about/reading 3 or 4 things at once. Maybe it's because we're more about the process than the result?

    I think you're maybe focusing too much on the "without sacrificing quality" phrase--as long as there isn't a huge dip in quality, it's no big deal.

    Now, I'm not all that great at multitasking if it involves something really boring, like the bureaucratic record-keeping stuff that goes along with being a teacher.
    Yes, I don't think it's honest to say that you can multi-task "without sacrificing quality". It depends on the quality necessary. But in her ad she specified "accurate data entry". Obviously that's something that has less mistakes if you don't get interrupted every 3 minutes. It's not fair to expect precision and multitasking, I don't think.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    For me multi-tasking usually results in lower quality.

    Actually "focus on multiple tasks at once" seems like a contradiction in terms to me since, if your attention is divided between multiple things, then it is not focused, by definition.
    ---
    I do sometimes feel a bit of a rush of believing I'm accomplishing a lot of things done at the same time by multi-tasking. But most of the time, I have had to repay the benefit by correcting for mistakes or having to completely re-do what I did earlier.
    ---
    I suspect extroverts may be more likely to say they multi-task well. Especially, the "Get-Things-Going" types (ENFP, ESFP, ENTP, ESFJ).

    I think multi-tasking may be effective for "executive" job positions, that rely on other individuals to take care of the actually quality of work-- because there isn't "quality" per say in the act of delegation. It is more about getting people on tasks and getting them working, than really doing some sort of high-quality assignment of tasks.

    Of course, longer-term placement of people in positions would require more care.
    ----
    Interestingly, from a computational perspective, this is similar to the problem computer architects and software engineers have in making use of multiple threads of execution.

    On the one hand, you get the hardware utilization up, so that execution units, etc. aren't as idle as serial execution.

    On the other hand, the programs get more complicated--you have to pay for the overhead of parallelizing the tasks, which includes synchronization between tasks and maintaining coherence of the data being shared.
    ---
    Anyone read CrazyBusy?
    I suspect substitute has because of the story about using a rotary telephone.
    I read about CrazyBusy online a little while ago.
    "in his book he calls multitasking a mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously.""

    This was interesting:
    "In one recent study, Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that multitasking adversely affects how you learn. Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily. His research demonstrates that people use different areas of the brain for learning and storing new information when they are distracted: brain scans of people who are distracted or multitasking show activity in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information. Discussing his research on National Public Radio recently, Poldrack warned, We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing, that humans are not built to work this way. Were really built to focus. And when we sort of force ourselves to multitask, were driving ourselves to perhaps be less efficient in the long run even though it sometimes feels like were being more efficient."

    And this concerned me:
    "As neurologist Jordan Grafman told Time magazine: Kids that are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online and watching TV, I predict, arent going to do well in the long run. I think this generation of kids is guinea pigs, educational psychologist Jane Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle; she worries that they might become adults who engage in very quick but very shallow thinking."

  9. #19
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    I also read something similar recently about the way the brain learns and how our modern society is sort of at odds with that. I think the book was called Endangered Minds(Older like 93) but some of the same points were brought up in terms of entertainment and education. I think the author stated that part of the problem lay in the fact that there was not that much mental stimulation that occurred when you were watching tv(lack of interaction) and that the situation was so artificial and imposed that the brain really couldn't register and learn from it because the tv filled in some of the crucial gaps for you.

    I think that kind of multi-tasking is no doubt destructive and not really beneficial( I still do it on occasion but television is severely limited). I think that in a more productive way though multi-tasking can have a decidedly or comparatively beneficial advantage depending on your stance(motivation wise).

    I think a lot of people are familiar with the right/left brain split on a general level so I will not go into so much detail on that. Recently I read a book where the author(a neuro-psychologist/scientist that dealt with mental disabilities) found that in a novel situation most people used their right brain to interpret and organize information but as skill and proficiently increased they were transferred more to the left side of the brain, which increased efficiency and proficiency by making sort of a template( he called it wisdom..the book was called the "wisdom paradox").

    I think though for those people who are more right brain dominant, which from the literature I've read linking type to brain dominance is more NP, need to sort of utilize novel information on a consistent basis to understand, which is what I think multi-tasking can greatly aid in. I'm sort of tentatively thinking the reason why NTPs like to multi-task is sort of a reluctance to transfer that knowledge into a more left brain oriented sequential-proficient way( could be more SJ oriented). I also find in terms of motivation when I can brainstorm and sort of implement my ideas in a more fluid way my motivation levels stay on a consistently high level, something which multi-tasking once again helps.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

  10. #20
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I recognize myself in your tentative theory Aimhann...
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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    I will kill you if I must
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