Multitasking Is A Myth!
We take the term multitasking for granted these days. Everyone is multitasking all day long. We are checking our cell phones for e-mail while we are driving or in the restroom. We talk on the cell phone while driving or watching television. This has accelerated society to a break-neck speed. I am no different from anyone else as I used to take great pride in boasting in my ability to complete several tasks at the same time. Being a computer guy, it is only normal that I operate like my machines, multithreading!
However, it is at this stage in my career when I have realized the fallacy of this whole philosophy. Technically, it is not possible to multitask most operations unless one of those items does not require any active input. For example, talking while driving or walking and chewing gum. Driving for most of us has become automatic and only requires our undivided attention in heavy traffic or extreme weather. In those situations I usually turn down the radio and give it my full attention. If you add a cell phone into the mix, most people will turn down the radio so they can concentrate on the call and reduce the distraction.
Due to this fallacy, I have realized that in order to perform my best for brain-intensive operations, such as troubleshooting SQL Server, it is best to put on some passive music and tune out the world in order to tune in to the SQL. Think about it and be honest with yourself, it may seem like you are able to do multiple things at one time but you can only process one piece of information at a time. That does not mean you cannot juggle multiple projects at the same time, but you will put one down and work on the other and go back and forth.
When I used to wear a full-time developer hat, I needed absolute quiet in my own office otherwise I was so distracted that I could not code effectively because I kept losing my train of thought. It just was not possible for me to effectively code. Maybe I am not a great developer, but I think that if you are honest with yourself you will see that multitasking truly is a myth!