He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Friday, August 28, 2009

Multi-Tasking As A Divine Attribute

Do you ever become impatient with incompetent folks who swear that they can successfully multi-task? I do.

Let me go further by proposing that anyone who claims to be a successful multi-tasker is automatically incompetent. Scientists have concluded that we humans can focus only on one task at at time. Therefore, performing more than one task simultaneously consists in applying "continuous partial attention" to the tasks. (I got that phrase from today's Wall Street Journal.)

I'm going to add this to my list of interview questions: Can you successfully multi-task, and can you give me an example of your success at multi-tasking?

Just imagine how the interviewees, eager to make a good impression, would fall into my trap. Not only are they incapable of focusing, but also they're incapable of acquiring the introspective knowledge that would enable them to recognize what focusing entails and how they fall short.

Or, I could just dismiss them as blasphemers for claiming possession of what appears to be a divine attribute.


George Patsourakos said...

Multi-tasking has become a current "buzz word" that many people are using to indicate that they can perform more than one task at a time.

I believe that a person can only do one task at a time sufficiently. If a person tries to do more than one task at the same time, he or she is probably not performing either task effectively.

Visibilium said...

Yes, multi-taskers presume that they're actually performing multiple tasks simultaneously. At best, they're performing a single task and playing at performing others.

Let's look at a simpler case. Would you feel comfortable with a surgeon's removing a tumor from your brain while grooving to Green Day?