The Inability to Multitask
Recognising the Challenge
There are people who are
incapable of multi-tasking.
They can not do more than
one thing at a time.
They can only function when
they are permitted to work
through each task until
completed before starting another.
Although most of us can sit at work, have five or more screens open on our computer, (a number of them NOT work related), talk on the phone, be conscious of our coworkers and their dramas, and able to consider what we will do when we leave the office, there are people who can not.
There are those who can not operate a computer and speak to the person beside them. Can not speak to more than one person at a time, unless they are lecturing. If they are on the phone become blind to everyone and thing around them.
It is nothing new, it has only become more visible.
There have always been people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time, (joking). Years before computersconquered the world there were people who could only deal with the file in front of them. If were interrupted by a phone call, they had difficulty 'switching gears'.
There are those who 'can't work under pressure' and if three people call them at the same time they freeze in place, like a computer announcing; 'bad command or file name'
We used to use the term, 'single minded'. In some cases it was positive, A person could concentrate on a task despite what was going on around them. Those who were able to scatter their attention were considered 'easily distracted'.
That was then. This is now
Can and Can't
Those who can multitask may have three or more conversations going simultaneously. They can jump from one place to another, without seam.
One who can multi-task can open another window on the computer, connect to another site, and while that's loading, take a play in Scrabble, answer the phone, add a few words to the document they are typing, while noticing the interplay between those around them.
Having to deal with one who is incapable of multi-taskingleads to a slowing down of one's own thought processes, and becomes extremely uncomfortable.
One can not talk while the Other is reading, because while he is reading his ears need to be shut off.
One must wait until he completes what he is doing to inform him of something else. If a phone rings and he answers it, there is no sense in remaining. One must wait until he completely finishes his conversation, hangs up the phone, and recalibrates his brain to resume.
To have to deal with a person like this puts you into a brain freeze. You have to physically stop your thoughts, and wait and watch as his sluggish mind shambles along the path.
Hence, where one usually flings ten different ideas, one must package one idea, let it penetrate the mind, be dealt with, before bringing forward another.
It is far easier to deal with such people in writing. Put the ideas out in one written document and insure there are connecting terms and explanative sentences between them. This will speed up the process.
Born that Way
If you can't multi-task, you just can't.
There is no "3 Step Method", to learn how. Your brain is one which focuses to the exclusion of all else. In tasks which require absolute undistractable focus, you will do exceptionally well. In the real world, you'll be left behind.
If you recognise your inability to multi-task you have to organise your interactions and limit them. Require information in written form. You can take your time, go one point to another, focus.
Don't try to dilute your concentration. One task at a time. That's how you do it. And do it right.