Monday Februrary 22, 2010 | Multitasking

February 19, 2010 at 11:25 am | Posted in Coming Up | 12 Comments

In today’s fast-paced world, most of us would probably admit to needing to multitask to get all of our tasks completed on a day-to-day basis. And several of us would probably profess to being really good at multitasking. But one Charlotte expert in human performance says that multitasking is a myth and furthermore has been proven by science to be impossible for humans. We’ll talk with Dr. Louis Csoka who has done scientific research on human performance about multitasking.
Dr. Louis Csoka
– Founder of Apex Performance

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  1. I welcome your guest to observe any mother (working or stay@home) if he wants to witness some stellar multi-tasking

  2. I am in my fifties and always studied with the television on because I found silence distracting. I was an excellent student, so this did not interfere with my ability to learn. However, I did not actively pay attention to the television while studying. I HEARD the television, but did not LISTEN to it.

  3. Thank you for giving those of us that are bad at “multi-tasking” some more ammunition in our defense. I’ve always thought that true multi-tasking was never really possible and I’m glad that there are some people and research out there that backs this up.

  4. Just a funny story. My mother is 89. One day my sister was teasing her and saying to my mother that she needed to learn to multi-task. My mom said, “I’m doing good to task”!

  5. But if I don’t multi task, I’ll never get to listen to Charlotte Talks!

    Seriously, thanks for the reminder about focus and prioritization – we all know we should, but it’s good to hear it again.

  6. It is physically impossilbe to think about 2 different thoughts at exactly the same time. Just try it. It CAN’t be done. We can alternate between thoughts very quickly, and that may seem like we have simultaneous thoughts.

  7. a story is told in 3 threads;
    one primary focus, and two supporting so the gaps get filled in.
    now folding laundry is not something that really calls
    for any kind of perfection, and in no way uses my ears.
    I am a very auditory person, and can selectively listen to
    this program, the same way one reads for content.

    thirdly, I can be waiting on an impromptu cue from an oven timer.
    triggering a controlled response of finding a stopping point,
    and walking into the kitchen. again not at all needing my ears.
    still listening. my threads have just ‘helixed’.

    point being, I am learning while doing chores.
    chores which I don’t normally do,
    but would not do any better if given full undivided attention.

  8. The comments are interesting! When we can really be objective about our own performance, we can SEE what is really happening. For nine years I worked full time and was a manager of anywhere from 10 to 15 people at a highly technical job (being constantly interrupted by subordinates, management meetings, email, phone calls, etc.) AND I am the mother of triplets who were born during this time. I thought I was an expert multi tasker. I HAD to be. I suffered burn out. I had a mental crisis of sorts. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and I don’t really know for sure what brought it all on. I kept trying to cope because I did not want anyone to know that I could not do something. I did not want to be called a failure. During this process, I came to my own realization, that multi tasking was not good for me. I now have a hard time trying to retrain myself to do one thing at a time because it is hard to concentrate on one thing. We have to figure out how to get the important things done in a way that is healthy for the individual. To all the mothers, yes, we are stellar multi taskers, but we pay for it in the end. Everything that is good is not best.

  9. This was one of the most fascinating shows I have heard, thanks Charlotte Talks! I am taking a short break from work to write this note. I have a great job, as an ecologist with the national park service. I am also a father of triplets who were born just after I started this job. Several years ago I was told to become a permanent employee I would need to finish my masters thesis, which I did in one semester four years ago. Fortunately, I only had one very good employee to manage. On top of all this I have ADHD. I too came near to a breakdown with all the demands on my attention. I do have a question though, can anyone point me to biofeedback training or software that was alluded to in the discussion? I think it would be a good way to increase my focus. I will continue to listen to the radio while exercising or folding the laundry, but now I will get back to my work while listening to music – sorry WFAE!

  10. Dr. Csoka and the staff at Apex Performance would like to say thanks for all the comments posted on this morning’s “Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins” program. We would be happy to answer any questions on any of our programs, workshops or the biofeedback we utilize. Contact Chad Webb at 704-831-5614 Ext. 2 or at for additional information. Learn more about us at

  11. I am a golf instructor and if people split their attention while learning golf skills they will be very disappointed in their performance and learning. As a former LPGA tour player I know first hand about peak performance and the ability to play golf with many incoherent thoughts. PROFESSIONAL GOLFERS DO NOT MULTI-TASK AND NEVER WILL.

  12. Divided attention can be enriching for the creative personality. I often listen to more than one radio program at a time while watching TV with the sound low and/or scanning a book. I lke to hear people talking over one another at meetings and parties. (Mixed voices enable me to understand and reproduce realistic dialogue.) In this way I load my subconscious mind with many inputs for a wonderful Gestalt of creativity.

    But this is not to say I multi-task. I do not text, would not cell phone while driving, and tend to turn off all media when conducting important or sensitive business. I give my loved ones and close associates my undivided attention when they ask or need to be heard. Anything else would be perverted.

    I think the human mind always craved chaotic stimulation but unmediated overstimulation by electronic media is lessening our virtuistic capacity rather than enhancing it. (I continue to hand write special letters to people who matter in my life.)

    Every new mode of expression is different in character by virtue of the nature of its interface with the mind and the community mind (culture). Failure to manage the counterproductive phenomena that areise produces an insane and suicidal human community.

    Now, as for Julie Cole and her view that golf is important: Golf is an amusement and nothing more. In fact, it is a poor and wasteful activity rooted in the homicidal violence and land greed of medievil Scotland. Golf is a degenerate game of hierarchy and homosexual subtext originating in the murderous snipe hunt and the mysteries of violent cuckholding. It’s no wonder it drove Tiger Woods insane. Being good at golf is like a masters degree in self-abuse.

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