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Posts Tagged ‘time use’

Multi-Tasking

Posted by remistevens on December 16, 2009

Alright, I know some people preach this as the greatest upgrade in efficiency since the mechanical man. Multitasking is pretty fantastic, but its position in the hierarchy of efficiency must be considered. If you multi-task poorly, you risk doing a crappy job of any of your particular tasks. But more importantly, poor multitasking can interfere with your efficiency and lengthen the time it takes to finish.

Walking Vending Machines!


Not sure if the coke vending robot is real, but It makes sense to me that the first robot walking on the streets would be a vending machine. Either vending machines or meter maids, they’ve both been on the streets for years just waiting to get mobile.


Wait, multi-tasking. Example: You need to make a call, clean some dishes and make a pizza. The call will take 15min, the dishes will take 30mins and the pizza with preparation time will take 60min. So long as making the call and washing the dishes don’t cause you to spend more than 60min overall, multitasking is welcomed. The trick is to finish the time crucial elements of the longest task immediately as they come up. Prep and ovenize the pizza, wash the dishes during cooking, make the call during dishes, pull the pizza out to cool at the 55min mark, eat on schedule. Sure you’re switching gears and that’s inadvisable, but in the pizza scenario it can be done safely and responsibly. The idiot who finishes up the call and the dishes first realizes he’s still got to wait another hour until he eats!

Computer ‘multitasking, you’re checking email while listening to music and downloading 30 movies. But, a computer is only ever actually able to do one thing at a time, it just goes back and forth between tasks so fast you can’t tell. Multiple processor computers are multitasking i suppose, but each processor only ever handles a single string of ones and zeros. Its all just switches people, everything in the digital world is made up of switches no more complex than the one you use to turn on the bathroom light. The monitor asks the processor to flip 2 million switches so it can display a pic of a rose, the mouse is asking for 60000 bathroom switches to be thrown so a right click can be registered, it goes on and on. . . .The processor’s inbox is a scattered mess, but it still doesn’t ever flip more than a single switch at once. Computers do not multi-task, they just switch gears unbelievably fast and efficiently.

Human Multitasking; are you really multing your tasks? Isn’t every task really getting done in a new manner and therefore being something other than what you’d initially set out to do? I mean, if you were to multi-task trampolining with going to the toilet, the two tasks intercede and you end up with an entirely new behaviour that is more than the sum of the two. The term works, sure, you are doing ‘multiple’ things. Not only that, both of the initial objectives are completed, you really did both jump and poop. But be careful, the tasks themselves change when you multi-task. Getting it all over yourself isn’t a common objective for going to the bathroom, nor is this standard trampolining procedure. To ensure he’s doing what he set out to do, a good multi-tasker must differentiate good and bad combinations.

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