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Do you multi-task?


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Author Topic: Do you multi-task?  (Read 101 times)
brock
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« on: Mar 25, 2014 12:29 am »

Or do you chop wood and carry water? All of the new research is saying that human productivity is extremely impaired by multi-tasking. Although we might feel that we are being more productive when we multitask, this feeling is illusory. It is actually not good for our brain at all. I also heard an expert suggest that it can make us sick.

The meditators, the zen masters, the buddhists, the yogis, the Christians - have always said that one should do one thing at a time. This is what the new research is saying as well.

Our frontal lobes get no exercise in multitasking. The brain is very elastic and moulds itself based, in large part, on how it is used.

We should resist the influences in our environment that would have us neglect these laws.



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« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2014 01:51 am »

I've read this too.

I don't like multitasking, however in my line of work sometimes I have to, mainly because you're expected to.

And I really wish people would get off the cell phone thing, while driving, shopping, etc.,
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 25, 2014 03:40 pm »

I remember learning how to shift gears in a large truck and the instructor was talking at the same time. I told him that I was concentrating on the shifting and he said: " What's wrong? Can't you multi-task?" When I play music I use both hands and sing at the same time. I have played bass pedals with my feet, sang and played instruments at the same time. I wonder what the experts would say about that? Not disagreeing with you Brock; just learning about this subject and various occupations that require multi-tasking. There are various tasks that require multi-tasking. Until you get the hang of it they can be quite challenging. For instance: riding a bicycle.

i have watched Amma. I believe she is an Avatar. She does many things at the same time. She hugs people talks and runs her organization, plus answers questions and tallies the amount of people coming up to her. It appears very exhausting to me. But then an avatar has the most tremendous multi-tasking skills. Their conscious is everywhere simultaneously.
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brock
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2014 04:44 pm »

You make some good points, Steve. I think maybe we just have different conceptions of what qualifies as multitasking. Is singing and playing guitar multitasking? Is handling a steering wheel with your hands while pressing the brake with your foot multitasking? I would rather think that multitasking is something that requires a total shift in attention from one thing to another in such a way that it breaks your concentration.

Here is an article that kind of defines multitasking in a similar way. http://ergonomics.about.com/od/ergonomicbasics/f/can_people_multitask.htm

Excerpt:

"two stages.

The first is goal shifting. Goal shifting happens when you switch your focus from one task to another.

The second stage is rule activation. Rule activation turns off the rules (how the brain completes a given task) for the previous task and turns on the rules for the new task."

For example, I can see you playing the guitar and stepping on a floor switch. But I'm not so sure that you could play your music and work a math problem, without one of them suffering. As this article points out, they are two different tasks with different "goals" that require different "rules" or operations to complete.

Your post did cast doubt in my mind for a second but I think I cleared up the confusion.
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 25, 2014 09:37 pm »

Possibly the key here could be the words high level brain functioning. When we have to do that it is difficult to divide our attention. The subject is of interest to meditators since we are given advice to focus attention during meditation. For a house wife who has to watch kids, do the laundry, watch the food that's cooking and answer the phone, multi tasking may have a completely different meaning. I remember being informed that Mozart played pool while writing music. Can a genius multi-task more easily? After all omnipresence is being involved with everyone everywhere...an awesome concept indeed. I remember seeing a friend of mine doing high level mathematics all nite while being a security guard for a truck wharehouse.
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm »

Hey we all have our talents, I can type this response from work at the same time actually do my work. Isn't that incredible?  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2014 11:35 pm »

The word concentrate itself is a very interesting word. I have posted a definition for the word from "dictionary.com". I picked out my favorite definition because not all definitions are equal.

concentrate -

    • to bring or draw to a common center or point of union (yoga);
    [/b] This is my favorite definition. It implies bringing ones mental forces together, to ones center, instead of having them be scattered everywhere. Some words used to define concentration imply strain or tension, and I don't like those words. Concentration is not strain and tension, a furrowed brow. That is just strain. One can strain with just as little focus as one can daydream. "Trying" to concentrate can create this sort of tension and do nothing but wear you out. In my experience, trying too hard to do anything is counterproductive.


    • to intensify; make denser, stronger, or purer, especially by the removal or reduction of liquid: to concentrate fruit juice; to concentrate a sauce by boiling it down.
    I also like this one. One purifies ones mind by removing that which is unnecessary or diluting ones attention. However, this one can also be interpreted as a sort of strain. That herculean, gritted teeth, furrowed brow type of tension by which one thinks to conquer everything in his wake.


    As me and Steve discussed one night, concentration can lead to a type of satori state where one is absolutely present. Past and future disappear. And if the subject/object dualism disappears then it is a sort of samadhi. Musicians, surfers, athletes of various kinds have all touched that place and talked about it.



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    « Reply #7 on: Mar 27, 2014 12:02 am »

    Yes Brock

    It does seem like focus is very important to the meditation process. i do not recall any multi-tasking as related to the practice. I know there are many jobs that require multi-tasking. Perhaps that is why people come home so exhausted but yet still so restless that they can not sleep.
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    « Reply #8 on: Mar 27, 2014 12:39 am »

    Yes Brock

    It does seem like focus is very important to the meditation process. i do not recall any multi-tasking as related to the practice. I know there are many jobs that require multi-tasking. Perhaps that is why people come home so exhausted but yet still so restless that they can not sleep.

    I would say you are right. We don't know how to work. I learned how not to work by observing my father, bless him. He could seem to take a simple thing and make it so complicated because he was trying too hard. For example, putting together a piece of furniture that required assembly. He would huff and puff and grind his teeth and rush through it in such a way that it would end up taking twice as long as it should have. All because he wasn't being mindful. He was trying to bulldoze his way through the process.

    This huffing and puffing passes for work in people's mind unfortunately. But it doesn't constitute work in my book. I rather call it an outburst  Cheesy. People aren't present in their work, they might as well be wherever they are in their minds. Our physical presence may be available but we are far away.
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    « Reply #9 on: Mar 27, 2014 06:28 am »

    Perhaps that is why people come home so exhausted but yet still so restless that they can not sleep.

    Could be, I know some people that are very productive, all the time, then trying to unwind at night (restless), which could lead to drink or overeating, then of course the other things...
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    « Reply #10 on: Jul 27, 2014 06:22 am »

    Mental principles for Acquiring Magnetism

    "But if you are absent minded you have much less magnetism. If you are thinking one thing while doing something else, your energy is divided; when you are fully attentive to what you are doing, then you are developing magnetism."

    ~Paramahansa Yogananda; SRF lesson 97
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