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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I keep hearing females preen about their (supposed) superiority over males because of their (apparently) magical powers of multitasking [add glitter, sparkle and costume change at will].
Leaving aside the utter triviality of the claim for a moment, I wonder how my fellow INTJs cope with multitasking.

I, for one, suck at it.
An example: if I'm on the phone, I only hear meaningless sounds as soon as someone who's in the room with me says something. My mother, who doesn't have that problem, used to drive me nuts, talking to me when I was on the phone. It's like a switch being thrown in my brain where only the most immediate information gets through.

I suppose hating to be interrupted while I'm concentrating on a task also falls into that category.

So, I'm curious: what are your experiences with multitasking?
 

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I can fairly easily do two things at the same time, provided they are not too difficult. 3 and I have too much "state" in my head and all breaks down.
 

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I'm pretty mediocre when it comes to multitasking. At times, I am able to focus on two conversations at once, but I can't keep that up for long.

If I try to multitask on things that are not conversations, I can only keep it up for so long before the quality of my attention dissolves and I end up forgetting what I was doing
 

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It really depends on the tasks, but I can't be on the phone and pay attention to what someone else is saying at the same time. I can do it when we are all in the same room. I guess it helps to see them, their body language and lip movements? Who knows.
 
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Like washing dishes and talking to someone? That's easy.

Driving a car and listening to music? That's also easy.

Driving a car and reading a book simultaneously? That's hard.

Task specific. Driving a car and reading a book both requires vision concentration at the same time,
which is fairly hard for human brain to perform.

Multitasking that requires non-overlapping region of brain is often easily done by humans.
If it overlaps, good luck with that one.
(logic sector is only one too, so your brain cannot logically formulate two things simultaneously.)
 

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I can generally do many things at once such as chat with many people via online, watch tv, research, text, and talk in person. All simultaneously.
 
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Trying to pay attention to two or more conversations at the same time always makes my mind reboot, or something. I cannot possibly read a book, watch television and play on my Nintendo DS at the same time unless I'm going through the motions on my game and have already seen what's on the television before, using it merely as background noise.

As for physical work... yeah, come to think of it, I pretty much suck at multitasking.
 

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I think most people think of multi-tasking as something like cooking and having a conversation, or ironing and watching television, or knitting and watching television. I mean, for reading, the DS, and television, you need your eyes, you have 2, which just isn't enough.
 

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Does not being able to have a conversation with someone while vaccuum cleaning with a particularly loud vaccuum cleaner, count? :tongue:
 

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I can quite easily listen to more than one conversation and participate in several IRL at the same time as most conversations are dull small talk. Now get me a conversation where we are going into deep stuff and I'll ignore everything around me :cool:
 

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I so totally rock the multitasking thing. I can chat online in four different rooms, monitor PerC, study (and comprehend) government documentation, update a spreadsheet, draft a response to the government documentation, listen to a coworker complain about our boss, respond to the office princess's requests for technical assistance via email, text my daughter answers to her history test, and, yes, breathe. I do all of this with grace, style, and aplomb.

And if you believe that....
 

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Multitasking is a myth.

I mean, if you call driving and talking to someone multitasking, sure but that really doesn't count as they use different parts of the brain. For me at least, I can remove a lot my focus off of the road and let my reflexes and muscle memory take over.

However, you can't balance your books and play sudoku at the same time or actually listen to music rather than just hear it. Listening to music for me engages a large portion of my brain, at least the types of music I like.

Anyway, multitasking is a myth. The best way to emulate it is being able to prioritize your tasks and being able to switch between them when you reach bubbles where you are just waiting for the next step on the current task. This is how computers do it.
 

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Multitasking is pretty much half-assedly (if that's even a word) doing multiple things at the same time.

The time that you waste refocusing and switching between tasks is not worth it as it draws out the time to complete the tasks! Plus it increases the likelihood of breaking an important train of thought.
 

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The best way to emulate it is being able to prioritize your tasks and being able to switch between them when you reach bubbles where you are just waiting for the next step on the current task. This is how computers do it.
Working in a professional kitchen this is a required skill, commonly referred to as "Timing". It is often necessary to prep, cook and plate as many as a dozen dinners all to hit the floor at the same time, so one must work backwards from the dish which will take the longest to prep and cook, fitting all the steps of all the other dishes in a perfect line so everything hits the plates a few seconds apart.

Really it is the only way multitasking can work, I can be doing a half dozen things all "at the same time" but really I am just switching between them rapidly. Same goes for browsing the internet, listening to music, PerC, chatting, researching, texting and anything else I might be doing, I'm really just switching seamlessly between them.

As far as movies or tv, anything requiring my attention, I am kind of anal about being able to focus. Watching a movie I haven't seen before, for example, I pay attention to everything, acting, directing, cinematography, writing, lighting... I don't like to miss anything. So I try not to multi-task. Same with reading, I can't get into a book if I even think there might be something to interrupt me. I hate when people try to talk to me when I am reading because it literally causes my brain to derail.

As for talking on the phone and listening to a person in the same room, inconceivable. Oddly though I get annoyed when I am trying to tell someone who is on the phone something important and it doesn't click until after they hang up.

So I can, and do, multi-task when it is necessary, but in most instances outside of work or using the internet I find it incredibly inefficient.
 

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Bleh

I think we are disagreeing on the definitions of "the same time" and "simultaneously".

Do note that one neuron cannot fire twice simultaneously.

So, in strict sense, if the tasks overlap in brain regions,
that is definitely not simultaneous processing; one gets processed first then the other.

BUT, it may appear in longer time frame that you are doing two tasks at the same time. (because one "task" is comprised of maybe millions/billions of neuron firings)

KICKER: it's like step function that looks continuous when looked from far away, but discontinuous when looked from small scope. (It is obviously because neuron firing is a step function. If neuron firing was indeed a continuous function, humans can truly multitask under any circumstance.)

Did I INTJ enough on that topic? lol
(Sorry non-math INTJs)
 
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