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multitasking

Ex-User (8886)

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I did this test:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHQv1KdpI-8
which tries to say that multitasking is wrong and dangerous;
my conclusion is a bit different and refer to my type, as also to other Ne types;

first test (single task)took me 30 sec + 15 to write a quote (notice manipulation first in writing a words than suggest you than you should make worse score on multitasking + not counting time to first write those words)
second took me exactly 60 sec

in first test I counted 30 letters, but for real there is only 27...
in multitasking I counted 27 letters (a good number)

now to conclusions:
15 second (33% more time) is worth not making a mistake in the task (and this was really shit example of applying multitasking)
second test was much more fun and this has impact on motivation
 

Rixus

I introverted think. Therefore, I am.
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Absolute complete and utter bullshit.
It did take about 15 seconds longer. Duh - I had to move my hand several times the distance by moving it up and down the paper between letters.
 

317

Redshirt
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i feel like a monkey jumping from tree to tree, never at more than one a time
 

Architect

Professional INTP
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Didn't read the site or do the test, but thoughts on multitasking in general ...

You're correct that Ne types do need a level of distraction depending on where it is in the stack. However it is true that for all people actual task shifting does require a cognitive shift, including Ne types*. Whether this shift is a positive or negative for Ne types - in my experience - depends on the nature of it.

I've discovered the following guidelines for myself

  • Generally about 4 hours (2-6 range) is maximum I can spend on a focused activity (e.g. a software project). This is collaborated by Drenth and other Ne dominant writers (e.g. William James)**
  • This can be increased and extended by adding in distraction to the mix. For me it's simple; I listen to music. I have some fancy electrostatic headphone systems and listen to classical music while I work. Really helps keep me focused.
  • Changing venue is important. I like having the day job as I can go into work and get a change in environment. I may be doing the same thing (programming, thinking, exploring, ideating ...) but it's a different project, different place.
  • Taking short diversion breaks (something like a few times an hour - 5 minutes?) is good.
  • If I get really wedged a complete shift seems to be necessary

So I'll work for 4 hours in the morning on my projects, 8 hours at work on those projects, come home/exercise/family/movie/whatever, then in the evening spend another hour or two on theory work. All told some 12-13 hours/day, every day pretty much. The weekend is a different mix. Been doing this for years so it does work.

Being clear on the mix of activities you do also is helpful. For me it's computers and music, both listening and playing, both which I do nearly every day.

* Read Deep Work by Cal Newport for information on this

** Work that I don't enjoy - say outside physical work or cleaning, I can comfortably do about an hour, three maximum
 

Ex-User (8886)

Well-Known Member
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Today 10:43 AM
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Didn't read the site or do the test, but thoughts on multitasking in general ...

You're correct that Ne types do need a level of distraction depending on where it is in the stack. However it is true that for all people actual task shifting does require a cognitive shift, including Ne types*. Whether this shift is a positive or negative for Ne types - in my experience - depends on the nature of it.

I've discovered the following guidelines for myself

  • Generally about 4 hours (2-6 range) is maximum I can spend on a focused activity (e.g. a software project). This is collaborated by Drenth and other Ne dominant writers (e.g. William James)**
  • This can be increased and extended by adding in distraction to the mix. For me it's simple; I listen to music. I have some fancy electrostatic headphone systems and listen to classical music while I work. Really helps keep me focused.
  • Changing venue is important. I like having the day job as I can go into work and get a change in environment. I may be doing the same thing (programming, thinking, exploring, ideating ...) but it's a different project, different place.
  • Taking short diversion breaks (something like a few times an hour - 5 minutes?) is good.
  • If I get really wedged a complete shift seems to be necessary

So I'll work for 4 hours in the morning on my projects, 8 hours at work on those projects, come home/exercise/family/movie/whatever, then in the evening spend another hour or two on theory work. All told some 12-13 hours/day, every day pretty much. The weekend is a different mix. Been doing this for years so it does work.

Being clear on the mix of activities you do also is helpful. For me it's computers and music, both listening and playing, both which I do nearly every day.

* Read Deep Work by Cal Newport for information on this

** Work that I don't enjoy - say outside physical work or cleaning, I can comfortably do about an hour, three maximum

You're really good, I can't do any single activity more than 2 hours/day - even playing games! If I study to test I need about week to learn required minimum.

I also found that in environment without any distractions (empty room with just desk and book and nothing more) I can't focus at all - I think too much and leave reality.
Same with no distractions lifestyle - I've left all games, music, every kind of pleasure and spending free time and tried to study. Never studied less... All time I was thinking. It seems to get job done it requires something to stay in external reality.

What about Ni types? My INFJ sister is really good to focus in loud place full of people and she seems to follow what is going on around. It is her preffered way to do homework and study - sitting next to me at my desk or being close with other people. When we go to family or any other people everyone eat and talk at the table and she reads book... from time to time she stops listening and say something or listen to others then again back to book. I don't know how to describe it since it's weird even for me. I can't have people close to me when I'm doing anything.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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I think it's a mistake to criticise other ideas through the lens of MBTI, though of course it's interesting to think about.

Rixus is right, this test doesn't control for ergonomic factors, however ergonomic factors are part of multitasking.

True unimpeded multitasking requires all functions to be neurologically distinct. The functional structure of the brain varies between individuals, meaning that, while some people may find it nearly impossible to perform two tasks at the same time due to using the same resources, others will have no problem with it. For example, it's often difficult to sing while also playing an instrument, but through practice it can become easy as you structurally reallocate the tasks.

The lousy marketing pitch aside (I didn't do the test because it felt like mind control), what this guy is saying is correct. Most 'multitasking' is actually switch-tasking, which has a cost in both shared resources and the increased cognitive management of the central executive. Even if you're an ENTP, these costs still exist, though they might be smaller if you have a particularly organised mind, or if the tasks you're completing are neurologically distinct, if you have a great working memory, or if these tasks themselves create little cognitive load for you for some other reason.

If you find it difficult to do things when there isn't a lot going on, that's likely to do with low levels of engagement, or high levels of exhaustion, which is something completely different.
 
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