Enjoying Single Tasking

Discussion in 'iPad' started by herbiehancock00, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. herbiehancock00 macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Just picked up an iPad two days ago. Have been using it quite a bit and enjoying every single moment of it, except when I have to type something long like now. One thing I noticed during these two days is how much I enjoy just doing one thing at a time instead of 4-5 things as I would have on my laptop. My old way of using the computer consisted of constant distraction.

    With the iPad, I am very focused on the one thing I am doing. I find myself finishing articles, watching every single second of video clips, just in general paying more attention to what is in front of me instead of thinking about the 5 other tabs I have opened. I enjoy this experience very much as it makes my feel more calm and focused. I also find consuming content on apps to be much less distracting also than consuming the same content on the web counterpart. This is definitely a much better device for content consumption as it lets you focus on the content. If I need to do any heavy lifting I will go on the MBP which now sits on my desk.

    Anyone else feel this way also? Although I could definitely use the audio backgrounder API.
  2. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    I do find that having more available is sometimes a hinder to work.

    when I am writing I like to just work on a laptop and disconnect my external display.

    right now trying to finish a piece or work and I have had to resign my othe MBP to the computer cupboard as having 2 computers and 3 screens is great for many things, writing not being one of them!
  3. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    I would take a proper file system over multitasking any day. MT is not a big deal for me, especially with how it works on the ipad.
  4. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    I bet your productivity goes down, and now I mean the total things you can learn/accomplish in a days time. People have the brain capabilities to take in more then just one thing at a time.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I hardly find the ability to multitask (like on a laptop) to hinder my productivity. I guess I don't have the focus of a goat and I am capable of shifting my attention to whatever is most important.
  6. magpie maniac macrumors 6502

    magpie maniac

    Aug 24, 2007
    I've never understood the need for multitasking on a mobile or media device. On a high-end productivity machine like a desktop or laptop, I can understand it, but I've never been pressed to place a call, send a text, listen to music, play a game, browse the web, and check my location all at the same time on my iPhone.
  7. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    When I'm on my iPad I'm not looking into producing. I am consuming content and I feel that it is best to do so one piece at a time. If I want to be productive that's where my MBP comes in.
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Now that is a good way of putting it, consuming content. That is all the iPad is good for, which is not a bad thing. You have to decide if it's right for you.
  9. jeffg819 macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2006
    Research suggests our brains really don't multi task...

    I've seen a few articles recently about our brains ability to multitask. It appears we are single threaded creatures trying to juggle the various processes we've launched, including dealing with the administrative overhead that comes with moving from subject to subject.

    The research suggests we are most productive when we are focused on one thing.

    Personally, for low bandwidth tasks, I seem to be able to handle a couple of threads at the same time. For things that require full brain engagement, working on the main thing and ignoring (as best I can) the other threads works best for me. YMMV
  10. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I would agree that alot of the time just focussing on one thing is better than having 5 windows open and just aimlessly clicking back and and forth and not really having any direction.

    Yet, I think Apple got it right in the multitasking for 4.0 in that its just a few things it will let you multitask, not everything. I think being able to continue listening to sound while you do other things is the main plus. An example is I've been watching MLB.com games on my ipad, sometimes the game will drag a bit and I just want to check my email or surf the web a bit, but right now I'll have to physically close out MLB.com, and then when I'm done, start it up again, including the streaming video, which is a pain. I'd love just having the sound continue and I could do other things, and then I could quickly click back to the video whenever I wanted. So limited multitasking is where its at I think.
  11. MikeCase macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2009
    Melbourne, FL
    I completely agree. It's great to be able to focus on one thing to consume at a time but would like to have an audio stream available. I barely touch my MBP since this device has been so great for focusing on consumption.

    On brain multitasking, I believe David Allen in his book Getting Things Done. He says our brain is incapable of multitasking. Instead we just rapidly refocus on different tasks.
  12. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    I completely agree. I cannot imagine actually doing anything productive on the ipad, but for for consuming content, which is what I do 75% of the time when I am on the computer at home, the iPad is just a much better experience. It keeps consuming and producing separate, making the consumption part more focused.
  13. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    I never said producing, but what if you are reading a book while reading some pdf on the net? Watching a movie from the web while reading a report on something? Or watching a video and reading on the web?

    I NEVER do only one thing at the same time, if im watching a movie alone im always chatting and reading something on the same time. Why would you only want to watch a movie? That's not productive, you can learn stuff while doing that.
  14. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Why would you only want to watch a movie? Because that's what you're supposed to do. You know why movies are always better in the theater? Because you're focused on watching the movie and as a result it is a much deeper experience. Writers and directors don't make movies expecting the audience to be doing other things while watching the movie. It's like saying why would you want to be only eating dinner when you can eat dinner and learn stuff at the same time.
  15. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002

    I believe the opposite when factoring the average quality/retention level of those things accomplished. I'd rather get 10 things done extremely well or effectively than 25 things half-assed.

    Again, quality over quantity.

    Are you actually using an iPad? I have generated content on one on many occasions. If you don't like what it does or does not do, that's fine. but to say that the iPad is only good for consuming content is simply wrong.
  16. Reser macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2010
    I think you just described the Ipad in the best way ever.

    People who are ranting and raving about how rubbish the Ipad is are the people who do not understand the simple fact you just pointed out. The Ipad is not for producing stuff, it is for consuming content in the best way possible.

    Of course it has the ability to produce stuff but that is not its main function it is more of an extra and of course it is not the best device to use for that function.
  17. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    If I eat alone I usually read stuff on the net or read a book, yeah. Only watching a movie is a waste of time, you can still see as much of the movie and read up on something on the net, or study while watching it.

    Just watching a movie is not even coming close to activating your brain enough. Just like watching TV isn't, I'm watching TV while typing this actually, I'm not even watching the computer screen most of the time.
  18. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Ok bring your laptop to the theater next time so you can learn and watch a movie at the same time, or are you going to say that you never go to one because it's a waste of time. Can you really say that you don't learn anything from the experience of being completely engrossed into the characters and story of a really good film or book?
  19. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    You cannot bring a laptop to the theater, wouldn't be nice towards the other people there. I do mostly watch movies at home though on my projector.

    And yeah you can learn things from watching a movie yeah, but you do not learn less from the movie by maybe reading up on something else at the same time ;). Why not use your potential to learn as much as possible?
  20. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Actually you do. When you're reading, you're not watching the movie. Don't even bring up the argument that you are still hearing the dialogue.
  21. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    If you are reading and watching the movie on the same screen you see most of whats going on
  22. kirchnrd macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2009
    Multitasking is a waste of time on the iPhone or iPad. People who are complaining about it, would complain about other people not complaining. Only multitasking missing from the iPad is the native alarm clock. Everything else is just bunk.
  23. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    Let's not go to far here. Background audio tasks and application save states like we are getting in OS 4 will be a godsend. I pray to god memory management has improved dramatically in OS 4 though.
  24. herbiehancock00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Just personality difference. I don't think you see the value of film the way I do. To me, I see it as a discredit to a good film to give it anything else other than your undivided attention.
  25. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Most <> all.

    There are countless studies done on cognitive processes that show unequivocally that while our brains can switch extremely rapidly between multiple focuses, we are only engaged in one process at a time. There are also countless practical studies that reflect this finding by testing recall and understanding while controlling for 'how many things you're doing at a time'.

    Bottom line: doing two or more things at once results in less effective learning, comprehension, and retention, than doing those two things sequentially instead.

    Please don't misunderstand me: I'm happy for the choice to have multi-tasking (such as it is...) in OS4. But you simply cannot do two things at once as effectively as you can do two things individually but sequentially.

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