A great article on the problems of multi tasking with some interesting examples such as this:
"I've done demonstrations in class," Meyer says, "whereby they can see the costs of multitasking as opposed to paying attention diligently to just one stream of input."
He might, for example, ask students to recite the letters A through J as fast as possible, and then the numbers 1 through 10. Each of those tasks typically takes around two seconds. Then he asks them to interweave the two recitations as fast as they can: "A, 1, B, 2," and so on. Does that take four seconds? No, it typically requires 15 to 20 seconds, and even then many students make mistakes.
the review of the paper is on this blog.I agree with SCIENCE: Multi-tasking is multi-failinghttp://www.andyjenkinsblog.com/2010/03/16/i-agree-with-science-multi-tasking-is-multi-failing/
I'm not sure that having several projects on the go at any one time is the same as multi-tasking though. Focus on one thing for an hour, have a short break then focus on something else for hour. The important thing is the focus and I'm sure that other studies have shown that you can only focus on something for a relatively short time.
Anyway, I've got to finish now as the phone is ringing…….
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