43 Folders

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

43F Podcast: The Myth of Multi-tasking

The Myth of Multi-tasking (mp3)

43Folders.com - "Multi-taskers" are really just splitting their time and attention into smaller slices than you; no one can really do more than one thing at a time. (2:34)

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Mike's picture

Petro, yes, it's possible, but...

Petro, yes, it's possible, but that doesn't mean that the results are as desireable as if you can devote your attention to the task. I believe and assert that as a universal constant; call it the physics of humanity if you like. To use one of your examples, I've not been on a SWAT team (nowhere near that elite) but I do have training (or did have, eons ago) as a rifleman, and also as an infantry communicator. A section attack is a lot easier when you're a rifleman than when you're trying to command the attack, or even if you're just the poor sap who has to schlep the radio. ATCs multitask, sure, but it's not scaleable, and ditto the trauma surgeon.

As for tracking conversations with SOs while playing on the computer or watching TV: I long ago gave up trying to talk to my wife when she's in one of those environments, and I refuse to talk to people at work when they're looking at their PC. Conversely, I turn away from my PC to talk to people. It's just too distracting otherwise.

re transcripts: personally I'd read them, and probably find them useful. I've yet to listen to a podcast, although I've downloaded several. While I understand why you don't want to go to the extra work of making one yourself, Merlin, I don't understand why the very idea apparently offended you, either. I don't think anybody's said they require a transcription, although it was pointed out that not everybody's native language was English - reading comprehension is almost always better than oral. But hey, your site, your rules.




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