Multitasking

max2

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 31, 2015
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Anyone else here bad a multitasking? Like working on the computer while watching a movie or tv show at the same time ?

I wish I was not. Anyway to improve it please?
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,896
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Actually doing work? Can't do it. I can browse forums and play games on my laptop while the TV is on but I may not absorb the content.

Read a book/magazine in front of a TV that's on? Not a chance!
 
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Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,145
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Flea Bottom, King's Landing
Why would you want to split your attention with TV while working?
I do that some times. Not for shows or movies, but the news or sports. There are long periods of boring has hail followed by a few seconds of butt puckering excitement. It's those few seconds I stop working and focus on the TV. The NFL is notorious for this. A game is 3 hours long, but only 15 minutes of actual playing.

I also read a book (references and manuals) while watching TV for same reason. I don't read fiction while watching TV. I would completely ignore what's going on around me while reading fiction.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,809
34,329
The Far Horizon
Multi-tasking?

No, I'm not good at it, and nor do I wish to be good at it; the choice is between doing one thing well, (sometimes very well) and several quite badly.

It is a myth to argue that one can devote attention (at least, it is a myth to suggest that one can devote equal attention) to several things simultaneously.

You can, - perhaps - but not if you wish to do them equally well.


Why would you want to split your attention with TV while working?
Agree completely.
 
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Ulenspiegel

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2014
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Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
Multi-tasking?

No, I'm not good at it, and nor do I wish to be good at it; the choice is between doing one thing well, (sometimes very well) and several quite badly.

It is a myth to argue that one can devote attention (at least, it is a myth to suggest that one can devote equal attention) to several things simultaneously.

You can, - perhaps - but not if you wish to do them equally well.

I share your sentiment, though there are exceptions. You might know the Russian saying:
"Я не Юлий Цезарь". ;)
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,954
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ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Anyone else here bad a multitasking? Like working on the computer while watching a movie or tv show at the same time ?

I wish I was not. Anyway to improve it please?
I can read a book, watch TV and eat at the same time. Substitute my laptop for online news articles if I'm not currently reading a book.

Something I've been doing since 4th grade. Usually, the TV is on for background noise though and the programming I usually choose to watch is either something interesting enough to be on, but not to require my full attention. The local news is pretty good for that, episodes of shows I've seen before, etc.

I can handle multiple job tasks at work though. Color balance a photo, print a page, export a PDF, etc. That and prioritize my tasks.

But as far as paying attention if someone is speaking to me about something that I will need to remember…well it requires my full attention which means no multitasking.

And any one specific task that requires my full concentration to accurately complete requires no multitasking.

I guess if it just doesn't require my full attention I can multitask.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,331
9,381
Vilano Beach, FL
Yeah, I tend to do this as well, I was doing it all day today, TV running while writing code.

It's clearly not true concurrency - it's time slicing, but I'm able to switch between things, and revert back to a pretty intense level of engagement. In fact, it actually does me good, to swap between tasks, I tend to get a little "tunnel visioned" in the code, and a recurring, mental reset actually improves my execution.
 

antolex

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2017
7
9
Anyone else here bad a multitasking? Like working on the computer while watching a movie or tv show at the same time ?

I wish I was not. Anyway to improve it please?
I can eat and watch TV at the same time. But I can't read and watch TV/talk to people. My brain can only process one cognitive task at a time.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,809
34,329
The Far Horizon
I can listen to music and write; but watch TV and read or write? No.

In fact, I never have the TV on in the background - I either watch a programme, - which has my attention - or turn it off.
 

max2

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 31, 2015
3,251
687
Thanks everyone I thought I was the only one that could not do this.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,347
25,146
Behind the Lens, UK
Thanks everyone I thought I was the only one that could not do this.
I multitask at work. But not watching tv. Just doing three or four work things at once.

I can put things on the computer to watch/listen to whilst I work. But some tasks that require my complete attention tend to get done in the evening when I don't get the distractions from the office.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
6,383
34,783
Catskill Mountains
I have a flannel-covered design wall next to where I sew, and dare not distract myself while taking components of quilt blocks off that to seam them up and then put back up there awaiting the next part of block assembly process. If I get distracted, that way lies the eventual discovery of a flipped set of half-square triangles, or some other thing turned 90º from how it was supposed to end up.

But when I'm just doing hand-sewing of bindings or hems etc. on nearly finished things, I'll sometimes stream a TV show re-run on a laptop and keep half an eye on it to reduce the tedium of thinking "only 10 yards to go..."

Even that I can mess up sometimes. I've been known to baste some little thing made of lightweight cottons to the leg of my jeans by not quite getting the needle all the way through the denim... bummer when I discover it and have to take it out w/ embroidery scissors or a seam ripper; I'm as likely to destroy my jeans as whatever I was sewing. On balance I do better paying full attention when I'm sewing or cooking, either one.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,809
34,329
The Far Horizon
I have a flannel-covered design wall next to where I sew, and dare not distract myself while taking components of quilt blocks off that to seam them up and then put back up there awaiting the next part of block assembly process. If I get distracted, that way lies the eventual discovery of a flipped set of half-square triangles, or some other thing turned 90º from how it was supposed to end up.

But when I'm just doing hand-sewing of bindings or hems etc. on nearly finished things, I'll sometimes stream a TV show re-run on a laptop and keep half an eye on it to reduce the tedium of thinking "only 10 yards to go..."

Even that I can mess up sometimes. I've been known to baste some little thing made of lightweight cottons to the leg of my jeans by not quite getting the needle all the way through the denim... bummer when I discover it and have to take it out w/ embroidery scissors or a seam ripper; I'm as likely to destroy my jeans as whatever I was sewing. On balance I do better paying full attention when I'm sewing or cooking, either one.
Sewing or cooking are not the only tasks that require full and undivided attention. Attempts to solve the world's problems are best left until after dinner, I have - belatedly - come to realise.

For that matter, I would prefer not to embarrass myself by confessing quite how often (and yes, sad to relate, it is often), I have driven a scissors, or something of the sort into a toe, or sliced off - or carved into - something instead of the intended.......target, when my thoughts wandered while engaged in a task my problem solving mind thought too mundane to pay close heed to.

Suffice to say, white towels are not safe from me when engaged thus in a bathroom, and I now have to strictly instruct myself - in advance - that all mental and physical attention is to be devoted to the task to be carried out by the hand wielding whatever implement it holds, until the safe completion & conclusion of said task.
 
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Suture

macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2007
964
182
I used to be able to, probably up until I started college. Now I can't even concentrate at work if people are talking. Have to wear noise cancelling headphones, take some Adderall, and actively focus by constantly reminding myself of the task at hand. Getting old sucks.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
6,012
472
Milwaukee, WI
Consider the act of paying attention. How much to you want to pay for each task? You've got a total of 100%. You can go 50-50 or some other ratio. You cannot go 100-100. Multitasking is a myth.
 
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