More on multitasking from John Hamilton at NPR. Not surprising, at least for those of us older than 18, but trying to do homework, watch TV, surf the web, play a video game and listen to music makes one rather bad at all of the above.
I don’t feel so bad now when my son becomes addicted to one video game for a couple of hours, it shows a bit of focus that is apparently a key to success–and a stress free brain.
As an example, I once listened to a speaker in South Africa who spent time in the Bush and had a nice metaphor for life in the wild and compared that to life in business. He compared how cheetahs focused their task of hunting on one animal before they began, set their sights, and once they began the chase they would not change focus, even as they passed other animals in the herd along the way; they kept their eyes keenly focused on the prey they selected from the start until they reached their goal. Otherwise, you would see the ultra fast cheetah running from animal to another animal like a spotted pinball, which is humorous imagery, but in the end a hungry cheetah.
The most interesting part of the story, for me, is the fact that multitasking is both addictive and stressful, which I find fascinating. What is it about the distraction, the stress, that we find addictive? Is it similar to a narcotic?
Next up on this series, is a story about multitasking on the mobile phone, which by the way, while driving is almost three (3) times more debilitating than driving drunk and even worse than driving while high on cannabis.