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  1. #31
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    There's a difference between:
    - actively trying to do many tasks at once, switching between them in a matter of few seconds

    and

    - starting tasks, not bringing them to completion before starting another task, carrying on part of the second task and the going back to finishing the first.

    I think that in the latter case performance doesn't necessarily decrease; in fact, depending on the nature of the second task, it may actually increse (an example would be when I start a translation project, work in the morning, then I go cycling/working out, and in the afternoon I can work better due to higher levels of energy). In the former case, well, probably it's effective only for tasks that do not require a lot of attention and thought.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  2. #32
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Multitasking I would think would always threaten the results but I think it's a poor use of the word. Multitasking is doing more than one thing at once where as most of the time people are actually asking you to multithread. The two terms are used in describing how processors work on computers, in case you're wondering where I'm getting this from, and the difference is that multithreading is doing only one task at a time but effectively doing part of that task, then picking up another task and doing some of that, then perhaps a third task before completing the first one and so on. In such a way it is possible to maintain the quality of the work but it does require you to be able to put things on hold and keep the information in the back of your mind whilst doing other things.
    That context-switching is a bugger tho'

  3. #33
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
    That context-switching is a bugger tho'
    Context... switching

    What's that then?

    I always thought it was the same context just merged together. I always wondered why no one else laughed.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #34
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Context... switching

    What's that then?
    I was trying to be clever ....
    context switch
    I failed.

  5. #35
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
    I was trying to be clever ....
    context switch
    I failed.
    Sorry... what?

    I was trying to listen but something sailed over my head and distracted me...


    (Totally didn't know that one... I was thinking you meant in more social terms... )
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #36
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    ^ yeah, well, i was also being dense. In a polymorphic way.

  7. #37
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I was recently asked this question on a pre-interview questionnaire.

    "There are times when multi-tasking is necessary between ongoing day to day work and special circumstances that require press coverage or other activity. How would you describe your ability to focus on more than one task at a time without sacrificing quality in your work?"

    Is there a personality type that can pull this off? What type is it?

    I find it hard to believe that it's actually humanly possible, probably because I am a perfectionist.
    I can multi-task but the quality of the work is going to suffer a little.
    How can it not?!
    I know that "multi-tasking" is the buzzword out there.
    I just don't believe it's possible to do both - multi-task AND not let the quality of your work suffer.
    Or am I the only one who has trouble with this?
    To focus is to narrow the field of perception.
    Distance is sight.

  8. #38
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    I actually find I can be most energized at work when I suddenly have a lot of things that I'm having to juggle. It's like my mind has to go into hyperdrive and it keeps things interesting. Almost like my mind has more clarity all of a sudden and I can calculate the fastest way to get things done -- but not sacrificing quality.
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I'll have to get back to you on that one. I'm at a disadvantage because of having not enough things to concentrate on at the moment, so I'm unable to give this thread proper thought.


    (edit - though I jest, it's not actually far from how I often feel in RL... need to be under pressure and bombarded to feel like kicking my brain into gear - one thing alone is too easily either dealt with, postponed or delegated, really not worth coming out of 'coasting' mode for)
    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Multi-tasking is better for me as I can't concentrate on one project at a time through to completion. Need variety and pace.
    ^^^ This is all very much me. I need to be able to continuously jump between tasks. I occasionally manage to focus enough to work on something for half an hour if it's something that really fascinates me, but that's rare. Several minutes at a time on one task at work is about all I can handle. I often have 3 or 4 half-written emails open, and several other documents I'm part way through writing, interspersed with phone calls and talking to colleagues and reading a newspaper article and and and... When I'm writing, sometimes I stop halfway through a sentence and jump to something else, and I rarely write linearly - I jump all over the place in long documents. If I was forced to work linearly and work on one thing at a time until it was finished, the frustration and boredom would make the job unbearable.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  9. #39
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    To focus is to narrow the field of perception.
    ...
    Spoken like a true "P".

    Focus gets rid of the unnecessary clutter.
    That's how a "J" sees it.

  10. #40
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Multitasking I would think would always threaten the results but I think it's a poor use of the word. Multitasking is doing more than one thing at once where as most of the time people are actually asking you to multithread. The two terms are used in describing how processors work on computers, in case you're wondering where I'm getting this from, and the difference is that multithreading is doing only one task at a time but effectively doing part of that task, then picking up another task and doing some of that, then perhaps a third task before completing the first one and so on. In such a way it is possible to maintain the quality of the work but it does require you to be able to put things on hold and keep the information in the back of your mind whilst doing other things.

    The successful technique is best exemplified by how you put a computer to sleep, where it stores all of what it's doing (it's current state) into the memory and then effectively suspends any further activity. Okay perhaps hibernate would be more appropriate but meh.
    Apparently, when they say multitasking what they really mean is task-switching, quickly from one to another.

    I can do that if the thinking required is shallow, but if concentration is required then I will use a lot of time trying to re-gather my train of thought once I get back to the intense project. This is especially true if I'm working on a project that requires consistency throughout. I guess I could make notes on the system I developed, so I wouldn't have to take chances on remembering it later.

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