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Discussion Starter #1
I know I am lucky as my wife and I both work hard to keep our home running smoothly but we do have disagreements about the best way to get all the jobs done, what standard they need to be carried out to and the order of priority.

My wife “thinks” that women have some special ability to “multitask” where as I believe in completing each job in turn before starting the next.

My wife gave as an example of her (and women in generals) ability to “multitask” that at this particular time she was, Cooking Dinner, Doing the Laundry and looking after our youngest child. As I was feeling a bit underappreciated at that time I replied that, the oven was cooking the dinner, half the laundry was in the washer and half in the dryer, she was sitting down with a well deserved coffee watching children’s TV with our child and that that was NOT “multitasking”.

At the moment I have just got a small amount of tilling to do to complete the refurbishment of our kitchen (I will do it after work this evening) and once that is done I will start on the next project (clean out, paint, insulate the shed / workshop).

Do you believe in “multitasking”? How do you each approach household chores / jobs? If you have different approaches does it cause problems between you?
 

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LOL many men and women can multitask, your wife is wrong with her gender bias. Let me guess, you put the clothes in the wash, the other half in the dryer, turned on the TV for your child, got the food ready that was put in the oven made the coffee she was drinking, knew when all of those things ended and when they needed to be removed? All while carrying on a little bit of bickering with her?

LOL! Yes, I believe in multitasking.

Sounds like you wanted to argue about something insignificant. Bad day at work?
 

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Most times, I'll do the laundry and wash dishes or make out the bill payments all while checking on TAM crap and thinking about what I want for dinner.

Today, I started the dishes soaking. I have to do them by hand. I put some chicken in the oven and some rice in a pot to simmer. I went upstairs, knowing that it would take a good twenty-five minutes for the rice to cook. I spread out an old sheet in the bathroom and cut my own hair. I had to come downstairs to check the rice, twice. I washed a few dishes while downstairs and then went back up while a few more were soaking a bit. I finished my haircut and cleaned up. I came downstairs and stirred the rice and finished a few dishes. Oh, I was on TAM, too.

It can be done. Now, tiling? That's a bit different, but I imagine it might be possible to do something else while the tile is setting? While cutting, spreading adhesive or grout and backbuttering, I'm not so sure? Working on the shed? Same deal.

Remember, the stove was doing my cooking while the dish detergent was doing it's job. I was doing something else. Prep took doing one thing at a time. Then, once started, I could let everything just do it's job while I was doing something else.

Like I said, that's not always possible when doing remodeling. You are doing the work, not a stove. Don't be so hard on yourself or your wife. Do your thing and let her do her's? Just my thoughts. If you can help her, or she'll let you..............well? Otherwise, make time by helping her and then schedule in some time with her. You don't have to talk about it, just help create some free time for her, so she can spend it with you relaxing or whatever.
 

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I've heard many theories about the differences in men and women and multitasking etc. One thing I've learned from my experiences:

As a primary carer of young children, I had to deal with frequent interruptions when doing a task because another task would come along with higher priorities. You have to be able to complete multiple tasks, each one interrupting the other, in order to complete all of them, even if less than satisfactorily, in the time you have. While this may allow you to complete many tasks instead of a few, quality suffers due to your lack of focus on the task at hand. E.g. the washing sits in the washing machine instead of being hung out immediately, but at least dinner is in the oven; only half the house got mopped but the baby was picked up and cuddled or your toddler was given afternoon tea etc.

When at work, I dislike interruptions as I need to have quality work, which means concentrating on one thing at a time, but at home, I rarely feel free to do that.
 

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I am poor at it and my sister is very good. In this, my sister takes after my Dad and I take after my Mum.

When I worked at a coffee shop, I was discussing this with a customer, who was expressing the same views as your wife. I was chatting with her, while keeping an eye on the pannino cooking for her, making her a cappacino and entering her order into the till. When she finished her monologue, I asked for the money - which took her a while as she had not been able to think about that while talking.

She stopped talking. Fished out the money, then resuming the chat.

Some people are good at it, some think they are good at it. There is some overlap, but not much.
 

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I am the one that multitasks in our marriage.
I think it my have something to do with OCD type of behavior that I've identified in myself.

I cook , do the laundry , go online ( sometimes on TAM ) , do the dishes while I'm cooking ,cleaning as I go , work on a project , all the while interacting with my wife.

I think technology makes multitasking a lot easier around the house.
 

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in a very broad sense, yes I think some women are better at it. OOn the other hand some men are too. It depends on whether you are right or left brained.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Doing jobs (or parts of jobs) in a sequence that allows you to make use of the periods within larger jobs that do not require your direct involvement is not IMHO "multitasking" it is "good time management".

Loading the dishwasher (or other labor saving device) and turning it on is one part of a job, you do not need to actively watch it clean, you are then free to do another job whilst it completes its task.

"Multitasking" would be actively doing two or more things at the same time such as:
1. Doing your homework whilst watching the TV
2. Eating whilst jogging.
3. Driving the car whilst texting.
Whilst it is possible to do you will do each task less well than you would have if you concentrated fully on it the consequences of this type of "multitasking" could range from
1. A poor grade
2. Indigestion.
3. DEATH.
 

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According to research performed by Professor Keith Law, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, England, it isn't actually a myth...

"We have all heard stories that either men can't multitask or that women are exceptionally good at multitasking. But there didn't appear to be any empirical evidence for this. It was all based upon folklore and hearsay when I looked through the scientific literature."

Prof. Laws gave 50 male and 50 female students eight minutes to perform three tasks at the same time: carrying out simple maths problems, finding restaurants on a map and sketching a strategy for how they would search for a lost key in an imaginary field.

As they performed the tasks, the volunteers also received a phone call that they could either chose to answer or not. If they did answer, they were given an additional general knowledge test while they continued to carry out their other activities.

While women were able to preform well in all four activities at once, men performed, on average, worse when it came to planning to search for the key.

Professor Laws said: "Men are supposed to have better spatial awareness than women, so they should have outperformed the women on the map task and the key task.

"But of all the tasks we gave, the key searching task also requires planning and some kind of strategy.

"Men tended to start their search in a less logical place such as the centre of the field and they would not cover the whole area when they were outlining their search. women tended to enter in one corner and search in concentric circles or lines.

"It shows that women are better at being able to stand back and reflect for a moment while they are juggling other things."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7896385/Scientists-prove-that-women-are-better-at-multitasking-than-men.html
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Getting back to my kitchen, after I put the 1st coat of paint on the walls I assembled the new cabinets whilst the paint was drying then did the second coat before getting on with the next task. It is not "multitasking" as you do not need to watch paint dry.

I am just as able as anyone to hold a list of jobs in my head and do them in order so it might seem that I am say cooking Sunday Lunch, whilst doing the laundry, and checking the boy’s homework etc but again it is not “multitasking”. The oven does not need me to watch it “warm” so I can load the washer before putting the beef in, the washer does not need me to watch it so I can put a load in the dryer, that does not need any input from me for the next hour so I can get on with another job be it preparing the vegetables, running an iron over the stuff I took out of the dryer earlier or correcting someone’s spellings / multiplication tables. Good “time management” does allow you to get more done in the same time for example if every time you take completed laundry upstairs to the bedrooms you bring something back down with you (empty the waste paper bins whatever) it saves you a trip.
 

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I just read an article recently that dismissed the term multitasking as impossible, the brain cannot function that way. The article went on to say some people are just very efficient at bouncing back and forth between multiple task. It made a lot of sense.

I am highly efficient, my ex wife wasn't, and it did cause stress in our marriage. Funny thing is she would always claim to be a great multitasker, but at the end of the day had accomplished very little.

For me juggling many task at the same time is pretty easy, BUT..I also can become overfocused on one thing and when that happens I hate any other distractions.

Regardless of how you approach things I have always thought what's important is what you accomplish over the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From an article on the BBC website:
A raft of studies has found that, actually, multi-tasking is a good way to do several things badly.
For example, studies by Gloria Mark, professor of informatics at the University of California, have found that when people are continually distracted from one task, they work faster but produce less.

BBC News - Is multi-tasking a myth?
 

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I once had a boss who snidely told me "McGill, you need to learn to multitask."

I was incensed. He was the least effective boss I've ever had, and here he is telling me how to work efficiently? So a quick google came up with a noteworthy study (Harvard bschool?). People who multitask were 20% less efficient than those who did the same tasks linearly.

So yeah you can multitask. But probably not as well as if you just did things in priority.

Now women do have the ability to listen and do things at the same time. Their brain halves are more wired. It's why if I'm watching the tv and my wife tells me something, I just don't here it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now women do have the ability to listen and do things at the same time. Their brain halves are more wired. It's why if I'm watching the tv and my wife tells me something, I just don't here it.
It's not just LISTENING, most women I have meet certainly have the ability to TALK and carry out any other task at the same time.

That is not a talent I share, I have been told that when I am driving I go quiet threw the interchanges , roundabouts, contra flows etc especially if I am on the phone (hands free only in the UK it's the law).
 

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I can conduct one conversation whilst listening to another.

Does that count?

Also I can type a letter whilst conversing with my husband and not looking at the keyboard.
 

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Even people who multitask don't multitask.

In computer science jargon, they Time Division Multiplex. They move sequentially from task to task, but only really give their attention to one at a time. It's like the era before multi-processor CPU's, when opening two apps at the same time just meant that both run slower.

The human brain is only good at doing one thing at a time, protestations of the purported multitaskers notwithstanding.
 

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So, you really don't care about making more time to spend with your wife? This was all about being right?

In human terms, what most describe here, is multi-tasking. I've known guys and women for that matter, to set up one machine and while it was running, they'd set up another. In the end, they had two machines running, making two different or the same parts, at overlapping intervals.

By multi-tasking's pure definition, it's not. Happy now?

You didn't need that explanation. What you need is to care about spending time with your wife and less about being right. That was what my original post was about. You missed the point.

"I can be right, or I can be happy."
 
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