Multi-tasking women

The topic of multi-tasking came up for discussion on   Then the question of women's adeptness at handling multiple tasks simultaneously followed.  I commented as follows:
 Women are generally considered to be more adept at multitasking because the nature of their domestic  responsibilities call for handling a variety of tasks.   A SAHM usually wears many hats throughout the day, as cook, cleaner, driver, personal shopper, tutor, caregiver, coach, party planner, and even financial manager.  While she may have her other tasks on her mind while doing, say the cooking, she will have to keep her attention directed to the task at hand to measure and cut correctly.  So I would say that we may handle multiple tasks when only one really requires concentration.  But we usually can only concentrate  on only one activity at a time, so switching to another significant task usually requires suspending the first one.

As a simple example, baking a cake requires several steps along the way, measuring the wet and dry ingredients, mixing them together, pouring them in the pan, and then baking them.  I can manage to go through all the steps while keeping up a phone conversation with a friend or relative.  But I would pause if I were taking a business call because I would need to keep focused on the phone conversation and do not want to be distracted by checking if I measured a full two cups or not.  I can pause at certain steps to check on email, answer the phone, or even put up a quick post or comment.  Many women develop a rhythm of switching off when it works.

 Obviously, you don’t have to stand over the oven waiting for the cake to bake, but you also don’t want to end up out of the range of the kitchen when the cake is done.  So you can plan for a task for the appropriate length of time, then pause to remove the cake, and go on to another task.  It is not all that different from switching from household task, for example,  putting the laundry in the washer --  to another like vacuuming, and then returning to put the laundry in the dryer before it has settled into wet wrinkles.

But I know that when I write or even when I read a riveting book, I don’t like to have any distractions at all – not even a radio on. 


Chaim B. said…
>>>So I would say that we may handle multiple tasks when only one really requires concentration.

I think multitasking is discouraged in the workplace these days precisely for this reason. You really can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
Chaim B. said…
I like the colorful layout.
Ariella said…
They are Bracha approved ;). She thought the old colors were boring.
Anonymous said…
I like your new header & your new look!

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