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November 07, 2011


Paul Sinnett

Multi-tasking often feels less optimal subjectively but it's not usually that bad. I maintain a manual written record of what I'm working on which lets me switch tasks without having to rely on my limited memory. In fact, it lets me flush my working memory, which is in itself liberating. I've found that when switching back I often bring a fresh perspective to the problem. This suggests to me that it might be more efficient to ping-pong around than grind away on a single task at a time.

Good source control helps immensely too, particularly when switching tasks within a project. I make frequent use of shelving in Perforce when switching tasks.

Jamie Fristrom

Huh - I tend to think the opposite, that multi-tasking feels productive but then at the end of the week you realize you haven't finished anything.
This Joel-On-Software article puts it better than I could: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000022.html
That is a good point about coming back fresh, though...

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