multitasking

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Re: multitasking

Post by Jia Yinyin on Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:29 am

Good point. I’d like to listen to music while doing other things, say, walking, jogging, riding bicycle… and writing CBI essay. The familiar rhythms and pace help me cheer up and give me inspirations from time to time. Although the fact may be that I am not actually listening to it.

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Re: multitasking

Post by SUNLU-CLASS B on Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:10 am

I really felt multi-tasking was a disaster sometimes. People can not concentrate on many points at the same time and the efficiency is very low. It also causes the chaos of the distribution of the duties between different departments and misunderstanding.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Liao Xin-Kenny on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:15 am

Some things do not need special focus, such as a cup of tea. Then you can perform other tasks, such as reading the newspaper. Of course, drinking tea is almost no need to use the brain, so in fact we only ever focus on one thing. I admit that my brain is only one processor.

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Multitasking

Post by mirror zhao on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:18 am

I am always running several projects at same time and feel suffering with multitasking. Sometimes I feel crazy busy a day, but after work when try to review a day always found that seems not that much have been done. So I am thinking, am I slow? Why so busy but limited results? The reason would spend too much switching time across multi-projects. When you are doing project A, you may receive a call talking about project B and then back A, but then it’s time to have a conference about project C. After the call and conferencing for B & C, back to A again, that maybe already half a day away, but the fact is nothing has been done for project A. For B & C seems the same!

This is really not efficient at all. Better way to do this might be a good plan for all projects. Make call for project B at the beginning and try to complete project A. Book the meeting for project C after A has been done. This is just a sample, but I will try to do better plan for projects in future to avoid multi-tasking and reduce the switch time between tasks.

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Re: multitasking

Post by GB-Li Ling on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:49 pm

My classmates have all comes out good idea how to avoid multitasking. However in the reality, everyone cannot avoid multitasking now matter in the life but also in our daily job.
Sometimes we even come out feeling if the person who can do more than one things at the same time and achieve the both success is regarded as efficient person. However few people would realize that if we focus on what we do and concentrate on single task, we could do that task even better.

I believe during today's course when professor Ali ask the question of "What are you good at ?" Few of us could be confident to answer "I am good at xxxxx". I believe the main reason is most of us everyday is in multitasking just as reading booking while listening to the music or running with listening to the music. It leaves few opportunity that we learn and practice to be good at something.

There are two kinds of multitasking which I would like to define a little bit different aspects from what defined by Chen Yonglei.

a) Multitasking in different things which are totally no direct relations
b) Multitasking in different subjects or topics during our daily study or routine work

These two kinds of multitasking applies to both company/team and individual. To achieve the real efficiecny, both company/team and individual should focus on one task and then more to other tasks seperately.

To be a team leader or project leader, it is quite difficult to do one task and then another since the time is so tight and there are many decisions waiting for your final agreement. What I would suggest is adopting the Visualization manner every day to categorize what you have done and will to do , then arrange the tasks by priority and begin your single task by task accordingly. If there is any distraction during your actual work, try best to record down the status of the task you are focus on , then move to another task of distraction within reasonable timeline.

As a department manager, it is also helpful when you consider allocate the tasks in the team members. The tasks allocated by function by steps would help your team members focus on the task assigned without too much distraction and gain much more efficiency.

Above is my humble oppion and I do learn quite a lot from this course  and discussion. I also feel it necessary to to implement different manner of thinking into our daily life. bounce

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Re: multitasking

Post by Zhang Yiying on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:49 pm


Thanks to Professor Ali’s experiment of “ABCDE… and 12345… “, I have a clear understanding why multitasking lowers our working efficiency. That the brain keeps switching between the two tasks actually costs quite a lot of time.
Knowing from the statistics showing that multitasking literally damages the brain, I was even more shocked by how bad this habit is. We take it for granted that doing 2 things together shall save time, for we are not aware the way a brain works. Now that we know, we should develop the habit of doing just one thing at a time. I will start practicing from now, and I regard this as one of the most valuable things I've learned from CBI.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Wang Tong 14GB on Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:45 pm

When Yiying mensioned that "multitasking literally damages the brain", an example came to my mind.
When I was in University (SISU), professor told us, in order to live a longer life, we should not choose to be a simultaneous interpretor. Because this multitasking work damages your brain severely, and interpretors' brain cell are killed fast every minute. So normally, although they earn a lot--800$ an hour or so according to the professor, they could do this job only before 35 years old to save life.(But now I'm thinking, maybe they've earned enough already by 35?!  Shocked ) Turth is, no one in my class chose the job afterward.rabbit
Another thing I'd like to share with you is that, after Ali's class, I start to be aware of my daily life, I tried to do one thing at one time, and I tried harder, to think about one thing at a time. Focusing on one thing made me forgot myself sometimes, and there's no worries about what's coming next, no worries about the future. While multitasking keeps me on edge, focusing and enjoying the present brought me inner peace and happyiness.

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Re: multitasking

Post by PENG, YAJUAN on Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:29 am

GB-Bao Xuejing wrote:
Chen Yonglei wrote:As my understanding, there are two kinds of  multitasking. 1) You do lots of things simultaneously but only one thing you need to focus on. 2) You do lots of things simultaneously but two or more tasks you need to focus at a time.
cheers

I like your definition. I agree that the first category is a competitive capability of people, because preset the order of things require the accurate judgment and rigorous logic.

While the latter, which is actually mean in the article, always piss one off. Before reading the article, I didn’t know this kind of multitasking will damage people’s brain. Nevertheless, I hate interruption when I am focusing on a work. The interruption, I think, makes one have to switch train of thought and lead the inefficiency.

BTW, to write the essays of CBI, I chose to stay in the company after work, the 2-3 hours of alone made me efficient and fulfilled.
Laughing

Thanks, Baobao!
I took your suggestion last week -- stay in the office for another 2 hours, and it did help me to crack the Seiko case analysis.
Very helpful. Thanks.

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Re: multitasking

Post by 2014GBPuYang on Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:00 am

I don't like multi-task, even before I have the class of CBI. But by this lesson, I have understand why I hate it by theoritical. It is because I can not focus. Brain is not like CPU which is dual cores designed.
So now I can reply to my boss, I will not accept multi-task work Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: multitasking

Post by 2014GBPuYang on Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:12 am

[quote="Chen Yonglei"]I will have to define what the MULTITASKING means here before posting my oponion.

As my understanding, there are two kinds of  multitasking. 1) You do lots of things simultaneously but only one thing you need to focus on. 2) You do lots of things simultaneously but two or more tasks you need to focus at a time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Yes, what ever kind of "multi-task", the meaning is that we'd better focus on 1 task in the certain time.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Chen Yonglei on Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:10 am

Wang Tong 14GB wrote:When Yiying mensioned that "multitasking literally damages the brain", an example came to my mind.
When I was in University (SISU), professor told us, in order to live a longer life, we should not choose to be a simultaneous interpretor. Because this multitasking work damages your brain severely, and interpretors' brain cell are killed fast every minute. So normally, although they earn a lot--800$ an hour or so according to the professor, they could do this job only before 35 years old to save life.(But now I'm thinking, maybe they've earned enough already by 35?!  Shocked ) Turth is, no one in my class chose the job afterward.rabbit
Another thing I'd like to share with you is that, after Ali's class, I start to be aware of my daily life, I tried to do one thing at one time, and I tried harder, to think about one thing at a time. Focusing on one thing made me forgot myself sometimes, and there's no worries about what's coming next, no worries about the future. While multitasking keeps me on edge, focusing and enjoying the present brought me inner peace and happyiness.

I also heard from someone that an interpretor can only continue working no more than 20 minutes. If over 20 minutes, interpretors brain would be damaged. But sometimes I view it as a paradox, because if you often use your brain, your brain will be enhanced. Maybe hundreds and thouands years later, our brain will be upgraded to a level that is we can multitasking. On the contrary, If you don't often use your brain to practise it, it would be degenerated, especially in this automation and computer age.

One thing here I want to highlight, that is focus on the things you are good at, as Prof. Ali said. Doing so, you will get in to the status flow, which brings you happyness. Think slowly, One task, you will get into that FLOW.

Happyness is from internal, while unhappyness is from external. All are about mental. It's not the knowledge, it's awareness to choose.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Chen Yonglei on Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:21 am

Sun Zixia wrote:Multitask is quite common in today’s workplace, and multi-tasking is a preferred even required capability for most office workers. Learning the fact that multi-tasking is actually killing the overall productivity, and causing the horrible damage to the brain, we should take it more seriously. The two categories defined by Chen Yonglei make much sense, but I find it that sometimes we cannot find a clear dividing line in between as we have complicated scenarios in workplace. As multi-task is almost unavoidable, we should foster some way to crack it.

I would like to recommend the book Getting things done. It reveals some essence of dynamic art of workflow management and personal productivity into a linear format—a psychological assistant to help us achieve single-tasking. We have to free our mind before we can commit to a demanding task. “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes rule” was something I found very useful to lower the stress. cheers

Could you please explain more about “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes"?rabbit

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Re: multitasking

Post by Chen Yonglei on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:26 am

Liu Na wrote:I found a funny analogy between multiple businesses for a company and multitasks in one topic titled “Why do the entire group need a Value Proposition?” posted by Qing Yu. Multiple businesses will lower innovation of a company as multitasks will lower our EQ? How do you think?

Just give two examples of my take on this:
One is Sony. You may be curious about the reason why iPod was invented by Apple not Sony? Sony invented well-received walkman then and was always the most successful consumer electronic company in the last two, three decades until the invention of iPod. Vested interest is very important to these big companies, so they often resist innovation. Record business was once most profitable for Sony. An album included about 3 hit songs, 5 awful songs. You would buy an album if you like one of songs in it, whereas mp3 is based on each song, if you like one, just pay for it to download. If Sony entered digital music market, it may threaten its previous business model. But it’s a good opportunity for small companies like Apple without any vested interest.

One is Tencent. When wechat arose in 2013, internal organization adjustment and mass personnel changes of QQ happened in this company. People say that Tencent got the ticket to get abroad the mobile internet ship by wechat. Tencent is killig itself, Wechat is disrupting QQ. Currently, the impact of wechat performance is significant. At the same time, Tencent is acquiring various small businesses and high-tech start-ups like apps, video, internet of things etc. to build its own empire. Will it impede its innovation in the future with so many acquired multiple businesses? We’ll see.

The weakness of human nature makes people stay in the confortable zone. Again, I would use what Red queen's words"You have to keep running in such slowly kind of country."

But here for the Sony case, I once upon a time have read the report by the president of Sony, saying that Sony is killing itself by huge amounts of internal work flows, which impeded the innovation and creativeness. Employees pursued KPI rather than innovation. Each dept. has different goal, at the same time the goal is bonding to their personal benifit. Sony lose its precious spirit it ever owned. That's why there has been so many companies use OKR instead of KPI as their assessment for their employees.

Actually, many many companies are awareness of business innovation, but it's pretty hard to implement due to many other "environment" facotrs, especially in big companies. It's another paradox that is if the company wanted to be bigger, it would require innovation. But once the company grew bigger, it would have to place a lot of work flow to control. While too many controls would hinder innovation.

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multitasking-朱彦-Fred Zhu

Post by fredzhush on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:40 pm

Multitasking it looks represented high efficiency and I was prone to multitasking in advance of taking Professor Ali's lesson. In order to catch up the deadline to submit my essay, I tried to utilize my working time to write my essay but I found there was no any progress moreover my work also was interrupted it was attributed too busy in my original understanding. Now I understood the situation was caused by multitasking that reduced your efficiency and performance because your brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Another good sample, when I was running with my I-pod and I-phone I felt exhausted quickly in contrary to simply running. No matter how busy are you please don't be multitasking from now, focus on one thing that will bring good results to you. Fred Zhu

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Re: multitasking

Post by wang jindong on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:00 pm

I think "multitasking" can be defined like this:
1, more than one tasks are working simultaneously
2, every task requires system1 and system2 involved.

So it is not multitasking that analyzing some difficult problems while driving or listening music when doing home works etc.
because only system 1 is engaged when an experienced driver is driving and only system 2 is working to analyze problems.

Computer is not doing the real multitasking because it suspend one task and cache information in memory then do another task and will return to the original task after the second task is complete. This function is called "Interrupt"(中断) in computer science. It just because CPU can continue the interrupted work immediately so people may think it can do multitasking.
Multi-Core CPU likes a person with several heads, each core(head) can only working on one task at at time.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Wang Qin on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:22 pm

People think multi-taking was efficient including me before, but after the CBI course, I realized multi-tasking was waste of time and low efficiency.

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Re: multitasking

Post by zhouxm 周晓敏 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:55 am

this is a new understandng of multitasking i gained from Ali's class. When we apply for a job postion, we are always required for a multitasking capability and we are always proud to say we are good at it based on our years of experience. But Ali said we can't foucs when we are multitasking.My understanding is when we are multitasking, we can't concentrate on thinking and making important decision.

Now i am gradually changing my daily routine workings. When i arrive in office, i will spend 15 mintues to think and foucs on what i need to do by priority for today. And then start my daily work. It makes me more efficient to handle multitasks.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Sun Zixia on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:06 pm

Chen Yonglei wrote:
Sun Zixia wrote:Multitask is quite common in today’s workplace, and multi-tasking is a preferred even required capability for most office workers. Learning the fact that multi-tasking is actually killing the overall productivity, and causing the horrible damage to the brain, we should take it more seriously. The two categories defined by Chen Yonglei make much sense, but I find it that sometimes we cannot find a clear dividing line in between as we have complicated scenarios in workplace. As multi-task is almost unavoidable, we should foster some way to crack it.

I would like to recommend the book Getting things done. It reveals some essence of dynamic art of workflow management and personal productivity into a linear format—a psychological assistant to help us achieve single-tasking. We have to free our mind before we can commit to a demanding task. “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes rule” was something I found very useful to lower the stress. cheers

Could you please explain more about “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes"?rabbit  


Glad that you have interest in this.  cheers  "Inbox Zero" and  "2 minutes"  are tactics on email management. I find it very helpful. By analogy, it can actually apply into other broader workflow scenarios.

Basically, it's a psychological thing-- a Zen mind towards multitasks. We can set our "to-do" list at the beginning of a working day but we have inevitable interruptions, internal and external,  during the day.  We can pacify our "monkey brain-System 1" in an act like setting a simple rule to deal with incoming tasks----less than 2 minutes, yes? Do it now. Need more time? Then classify the tasks as either to delegate or to defer, within 2 minutes. Don't really think on the contents with your System 2 until you finish your previous ongoing task. It may be confusing at the first try-outs, and you have to trust this mechanism, as the habit is built, you can feel relieved with a peaceful mind and improved productivity.  The whole thing is kind of, using the "the rational brain" to train  "the monkey brain".


Some key takeaways on Inbox Zero method:

Inbox Zero was developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. According to Mann, the zero is not a reference to the number of messages in an inbox; it is "the amount of time an employee's brain is in his inbox." Mann's point is that time and attention are finite and when an inbox is confused with a "to do" list, productivity suffers.

Mann identifies five possible actions to take for each message: delete, delegate, respond, defer and do.

Here are some of Mann's tips for effective email management:
• Don't leave the email client open.
• Process email periodically throughout the day, perhaps at the top of each hour.
• First delete or archive as many new messages as possible.
• Then forward what can be best answered by someone else.
• Immediately respond to any new messages that can be answered in two minutes or less.
• Move new messages that require more than two minutes to answer -- and messages that can be answered later -- to a separate "requires response" folder.
• Set aside time each day to respond to email in the "requires response" folder or chip away at mail in this folder throughout the day.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Louise Shan Yan on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:26 pm

PENG, YAJUAN wrote:I believe most of us find "multitasking" annoying at work, however in most cases, we have no choice but to crack it, as we are supposed to be "productive". I bet most of the classmates are trying to be focused after Professor Ali's courses.

In addition to giving priorities to daily work as always, I tried to get my daily life "single-tasking", and found it amazing.

I used to listen to the music while running, and out of curiosity, I once tried to watch the movie on iPad while running, which is quite common in most gym centers in China, I suppose. I really felt bad that time; I don't know how those iPad runners feel, to me, I felt more tired than before, both mentally and physically. Therefore, I didn't give it a second shot.

After reading some running tips, I understood that "be focused on your breath and muscle movement" will your improve running performance, so I quitted iPod and practiced relevant tips. I felt so good. Further, since last month, I began to use a 3:2 inhale-exhale ratio (prior to which, it was 2:2 ratio), and got my 8km-running record improved (00h53m12s) after one-month break, fantastic! What's more, I didn't feel tired and had a sound sleep that night.

Therefore, I strongly recommend you be a focused runner, and try to avoid running or other strenuous exercise after sunset, according to traditional Chinese medical theories.

Cheers!


I totally agree with you. I have an elliptical cross-trainer at home and I tried to work out while watching TV series. It didn't work at all. I either lost my pace or was drawn by the TV and didn't want to move.... And in the end I couldn't enjoy either the workout or the show. So I decided to do one thing at a time and it was good.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Louise Shan Yan on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:50 pm

Sun Zixia wrote:
Chen Yonglei wrote:
Sun Zixia wrote:Multitask is quite common in today’s workplace, and multi-tasking is a preferred even required capability for most office workers. Learning the fact that multi-tasking is actually killing the overall productivity, and causing the horrible damage to the brain, we should take it more seriously. The two categories defined by Chen Yonglei make much sense, but I find it that sometimes we cannot find a clear dividing line in between as we have complicated scenarios in workplace. As multi-task is almost unavoidable, we should foster some way to crack it.

I would like to recommend the book Getting things done. It reveals some essence of dynamic art of workflow management and personal productivity into a linear format—a psychological assistant to help us achieve single-tasking. We have to free our mind before we can commit to a demanding task. “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes rule” was something I found very useful to lower the stress. cheers

Could you please explain more about “Zero Inbox” and “2 Minutes"?rabbit  


Glad that you have interest in this.  cheers  "Inbox Zero" and  "2 minutes"  are tactics on email management. I find it very helpful. By analogy, it can actually apply into other broader workflow scenarios.

Basically, it's a psychological thing-- a Zen mind towards multitasks. We can set our "to-do" list at the beginning of a working day but we have inevitable interruptions, internal and external,  during the day.  We can pacify our "monkey brain-System 1" in an act like setting a simple rule to deal with incoming tasks----less than 2 minutes, yes? Do it now. Need more time? Then classify the tasks as either to delegate or to defer, within 2 minutes. Don't really think on the contents with your System 2 until you finish your previous ongoing task. It may be confusing at the first try-outs, and you have to trust this mechanism, as the habit is built, you can feel relieved with a peaceful mind and improved productivity.  The whole thing is kind of, using the "the rational brain" to train  "the monkey brain".


Some key takeaways on Inbox Zero method:

Inbox Zero was developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. According to Mann, the zero is not a reference to the number of messages in an inbox; it is "the amount of time an employee's brain is in his inbox." Mann's point is that time and attention are finite and when an inbox is confused with a "to do" list, productivity suffers.

Mann identifies five possible actions to take for each message: delete, delegate, respond, defer and do.

Here are some of Mann's tips for effective email management:
• Don't leave the email client open.
• Process email periodically throughout the day, perhaps at the top of each hour.
• First delete or archive as many new messages as possible.
• Then forward what can be best answered by someone else.
• Immediately respond to any new messages that can be answered in two minutes or less.
• Move new messages that require more than two minutes to answer -- and messages that can be answered later -- to a separate "requires response" folder.
• Set aside time each day to respond to email in the "requires response" folder or chip away at mail in this folder throughout the day.


Thanks a lot for sharing. Very useful approach.

"2 minutes" method is essential for efficiency.



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Re: multitasking

Post by Louise Shan Yan on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:04 pm

I don't know if you guys ever have similar experience as I have: I cannot "not do anything". When I do house chores, I listen to music; when I wait in a queue, I read a book or send messages to friends that I haven't talked to for some time; when I sit in a noisy bus and cannot read or listen to music, I have to think about things or go to sleep to rest.

I used to believe that this kind of "multi-tasking" helped, because when I do stuff that does not require a lot of brain activities, it's better to use the brain in some way else. But after I took CBI, I am wondering if this is right. Maybe I should learn to relax and not think for a change?


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Re: multitasking

Post by Kelly Xu Yanyan on Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:07 am

Interesting thing is I put "Multitasking" as one of my strengths in my resume for years until I had CBI course instructed by Prof.Ali. And also, when you reading job descriptions, you would also found some "multitasking" requirement.

But actually, based on my working experience, I found it's very difficult to focus on "multi-tasks". And the effeciency is very low, when I was disturbed by someone for something "urgent". I had to admit that I was not that smart for "multitasking" during that time.

Fortunately, I learnt that "Multitasking" is not a good thing via Prof.Ali's course. We should all "focus" on one thing, which allow us to think deeply and creatively, complete effeciently. I tried one morning to focus on my own key project without checking email first thing in the morning working time. This really works well!

But the reality is I am always be disturbed by phone calls, emails and colleagues' stop by... "Focusing" is quite challenging even if I try hard.


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Re: multitasking

Post by Kelly Xu Yanyan on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:27 am

HONG Na wrote:I totally agree with Stephanie Peng. If you watching an iPad during jogging, you neck will suffer from a lot of stress due to keeping one position for a long time. It is not heathy at all! That’s why I do not listen to music or watch a TV series on iPad and purely pay attention to my breathing and heartbeat. Let’s enjoy the fun of jogging. What’s the most important, do concentrate on one thing at a time.

Thanks to Chen Yonglei. It’s a good idea to define and categorize multi-tasking before a discussion. What’s the most difference between Category 1 and 2 is the attention and thinking process. Multi-tasking of Category 2 is required a great deal of time to focus and think.

Actually, I think it's not that bad to do "multitask" for entertainment. I gym with listening music, which makes gym less boring. This helps to increase the interest of boring sports and keep me running. And we always eat snacks when watching TV or movie. I am totally agree that for work or study, "mutitaksing" is not good. But I would not refuse to do multitask for entertainment.

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Re: multitasking

Post by Lin Jue-Celina on Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:31 am

Louise Shan Yan wrote:I don't know if you guys ever have similar experience as I have: I cannot "not do anything". When I do house chores, I listen to music; when I wait in a queue, I read a book or send messages to friends that I haven't talked to for some time; when I sit in a noisy bus and cannot read or listen to music, I have to think about things or go to sleep to rest.

I used to believe that this kind of "multi-tasking" helped, because when I do stuff that does not require a lot of brain activities, it's better to use the brain in some way else. But after I took CBI, I am wondering if this is right. Maybe I should learn to relax and not think for a change?


I do exactly the same thing as you do, the main reason for that is I feel very comfortable doing that. I believe people differ from each other, one find music annoying while writing essays,the other may find it helpful to concentrate. As long as you feel it is efficient and happy doing, just follow your heart!

The other key take away I have from CBI is that I am more patient with myself and with others, sometimes we multitask is just because we don't have patience to wait for ourselves to think/perform, or we think there is not enough time to wait for others to react. Calm down, focus and be in the flow, that do make people happier. sunny

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Re: multitasking

Post by Daisy Zhou on Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:05 pm

This remind me a story about Madame Curie. She loved reading and studying so much when she was still a little child. When her cousins were all playing in the same room, laughing, screaming, it totally didn't impact her reading. And even the naughty cousins stacked the chairs around her, she didn't notice that and continued her study. I think this was the single task. Multitasking can't make people focus on one thing so much.

Daisy Zhou

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Re: multitasking

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