Sunday, January 31, 2010

Multitasking: The good, the bad, and the future

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 01/31/2010 01:27:22 AM PST

I'm a lousy multitasker. Some of my earliest memories involve walking, chewing gum and day-dreaming, which led to smacking into fences, trees, street signs and other people. I learned my lesson the hard way -- in the school of hard knocks.

I always envied people who could multitask. Multitasking is really about paying attention. It's an art, and some people can shift their attention from one thing to the next and respond to the thing most worthy.

However, recent research shows that multitasking has a dark side. Multitasking is taking a toll in our society, according to researchers at the University of California at Irvine. They found workers take an average of 25 minutes to recover from interruptions, such as phone calls or e-mail, before returning to their original task.

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