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Multitasking. Does it exist or not?

By writing this blog I am trying to understand what multitasking is. I think it is an interesting theme and it will be useful to know better about it.
"Multitasking refers to the ability of an individual or machine to perform more than one task, or multiple tasks, at the same time."(http://www.answers.com/topic/multitasking) But does it really work?

Here is an example from my experience. I used to work as an office manager. Many of my duties had to be done at once: to answer phones, to send or recieve faxes, to respond to emails, to print documents, to generate a report, and to edit a form letter. As a rule I couldn't implement all these things without making mistakes. My colleagues was often very angry about my work. And I felt so stressed because of it and it was a reason of getting a depression as I used to think that I wasn't a good office worker. So my selfesteem was low.
I read some articles about multitasking and was surprised what scientists think according to it. They say that human brains are not able to think about more than one thing simultaneously, we are able to concentrate only at one thing at a time. People have an ability to switch between one task to another, hence to give concentration from one thing to another.
But many of us do errors during such switching. Why? I think it's depends from how quickly we are able to switch our concentration from one thing to another. Some people couldn't switch their concentration so quickly as requested and make mistakes often. I am that type of people I suppose. For me It would be more effectively to implement things one after another,not between them. It will save my time and my nerves too.

Nowadays when we have so many advanced technologies it is normal to do many actions simultaneously, it's became a life style for business people or for people at all. Every day we are trying to do multitasking: to type at computer and receive calls, to read and listen to music, to drive a car and speak by mobile phone, to eat and watch TV, etc. Many such actions seem not very difficult and are not worth to pay much attention to. May be it's true. But sometimes these actions could be very dangerous. For example to speak on mobile phone while driving a car can be compared with a drunker who is driving a car. I understand it like this: when we speak on the phone we forget for a while about driving and when we drive we forget about the phone talk.


Using advanced technologies is a big help for us to be more developed, modern and to implement our work more quickly and effectively. We all know that computers are capable to implement many programs at once but what about people, is it possible for us to accomplish many tasks simultaneously or it is just an ability to switch from one task to another? Is there an opportunity to develop such an ability and adjust ourselves to the new conditions? It would be very interesting for me to know your opinion about multitasking.

Many thanks for your attention to my blog,
Alexandra

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Tags: abilities, concentration, multitaskig

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Comment by Alexandra on December 9, 2010 at 5:11
Thank you James for your comment! I see your job is very difficult as you have to work for 2-3 people. To work under strickt deadlines is very hard. But that great feeling after compliting your work is a good reward for you:) Thank you again!
Comment by James Shin on December 7, 2010 at 8:30
Hi, Alexa!

This is a great blog, well done! My friend! In fact this reminds me many things of what I've been doing for my current career.

If you run your own business, the multitasking is essential for a survival in business because it's so compatible these days, hence you are forced to do this or that (possibly 3-4 people's jobs at the same time, but on the other hand if you are working for the big company and you are capable of doing so many things, the company expects you to do more. As for me, I know a little bit more of computer system and I do some complicated accounting (as the most of accounting to be done by on-line system), computer network system (I deal with all the computers in our office), network security set & check, telex system, scan & copy machine (for our branch office/LHR), but actually those things are not my main jobs as my contracted job is completely different. So can you imagine how I feel when others focusing on their job only, especially when you are extremely under the pressure? In fact these multitasking job functions are always necessary in due course, because these things supposed to be done by whoever at the end of the day. Nevertheless, there is always a great feeling when it's completed and this feeling is what I like the most as it's always been my pleasure.

Thanks for this wonderful & enlightening blog!
Comment by Alexandra on December 6, 2010 at 17:54
Thank you Anna! I am not alone, we feel the same:) When I work under pressure at office I feel myself so exhosted and like a computer a bit. And the only thing I want then is a Friday, haha.
Comment by Alexandra on December 6, 2010 at 15:29
Thank you Anele for your comment. This adage is very popular in Kazakhstan too. Yes, mothers always do many tasks simultaneously. And they do it great.
Comment by Alexandra on December 5, 2010 at 14:55
Thanks a bunch Rabab! We are the same in this case:) Yes, I agree with Walid too. Nothing is impossible, just more practice and we will be winners))) I think women are better than men at multitasking and at many others things)))
Comment by Rabab on December 5, 2010 at 7:38
And yeah I agree nebia women are good in multitasking their work especially at home :)) Thump up for all the mothers and the wives, good bless all of you.
Comment by Rabab on December 5, 2010 at 7:36
Nice blog Alexa, I like it. very interesting.
I am just like you I can't concentrate on two tasks at the same time. For me It's more efficient to do things separately but as Walid said sometimes you can achieve some routine work absentmindedly that gives us a chance to focus in much challenging task at the same time.
Comment by Alexandra on December 3, 2010 at 19:40
Thank you Nebia! I read that women can do many tasks almost simultaneously much better than men, it's a statistic. I am a mother too, so I know what you mean:)
Comment by Alexandra on December 3, 2010 at 19:35
Thank you Ohnie for your comment. I am glad that you can manage it:)
Comment by Nebia on December 2, 2010 at 18:23
It is better to do things separately but a woman and espacially a mother is Wonder woman in that. I feel having ten hands sometimes. Thank you dear for the nice blog.

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