[DAY 77] About Multitasking

I don’t know why people put on their LinkedIn profile the title “Multitasker” as though it’s such a glorious and marketable skill. I don’t know how recruiters think about this, really, but I think it shouldn’t be something people aim for when they work. It’s misleading for students like me who are trying to get into the workforce and stumble upon people who take pride in multitasking. IT IS A MYTH. It is not a real thing, and everyone who is doing homework and being on Facebook at the same time should recognize this very fact: you are not making any progress.

The human mind is powerful but it doesn’t have the determination to finish important tasks if the body doesn’t create a suitable atmosphere for work. I usually go to the library and find a one-person table to do homework, and at times my friends have joked that I don’t have any friends. It hurts to hear that my trying to focus on something gives others the impression that I’m lonely, while the group of study chatting and occasionally yelling upstairs are the models looked up to. Uhmmm I think they’re just pretending to do homework. I’d rather finish all my assignments and put all my attention to time with friends later.

There are two concepts that sound similar but have very different meanings: parallelism and concurrency. According to GeeksforGeeks, “Concurrency is the task of running and managing the multiple computations at the same time. While parallelism is the task of running multiple computations simultaneously.” Of course I didn’t really understand what that means, so I looked at what Huyen Chip say, “Concurrency is when you are dealing with a lot of things at once, while parallelism is your doing a lot of things at once.”

Let’s take sitting with a group in the library to study. Everyone seems to be doing homework and chatting at the same time, and you also want to contribute to that conversation. So you write a sentence for your paper and comment on a boy your best friend hung out with yesterday night. You think you are making progress in both things, which means parallelism, but in fact you are just treading water, which perfectly exemplifies the concept of concurrency. In order for you to do good in both, there’s a need for two copies of you, which is impossible.

So, rethink multitasking. And give your friends respect as they spend their focus time. Peace.

Published by Thi Le


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