Multi-tasking is the ability to do more than one thing at the same time. It is a feature of output behavior and thus centers on the mode element of the "I Opt" paradigm.

All humans can multi-task (i.e., we all can walk, talk and chew gum at the same time). However, this concept is usually applied to the ability to engage in more than one work-related activity at the same time.

In work situations the structured (input), action (output) oriented LP probably has the most ability to display this type of behavior. Structure allows the LP to quickly move to a pure execution mode with confidence. It a single task does not require the full physical capabilities of the LP, other structured tasks can be undertaken at the same time. There is no need to "think" when the tasks are well understood.

The LP's multi-tasking abilities are dependent on having fully mastered the tasks being simultaneously executed. The need to think and refine one or both of the processes causes the LP to focus rather than execute. Thus the ability to multi-task is lost if the tasks are not already well structured and understood.

The unpatterned RS may create an image of multi-tasking. But what is really happening is that they are rapidly rotating between the tasks. The speed at which an RS can shift can create an external image of doing multiple things simultaneously.

Understanding does not confine the RS as it does the LP. But the rapid sequencing strategy will probably fall apart on tasks that are of a longer-term nature. The reason is the RSs unpatterned input strategy. The unpatterned input creates a variation which will, sooner or later, translate into a failure on one or both tasks being executed. In other words, a long chain of interrelated tasks combined with unpatterned input, inattention to detail and multiple restarts (tasks are stopped and started repetitiously) is likely to lead to unsatisfactory results over time.

In final analysis, multi-tasking is at best a short-term strategy. In the case of the LP style, fatigue will steadily deteriorate performance. Ultimately it will fall below acceptable levels.

In the case of the RS similar failure will occur but the cause is different. Here the failure will result from errors accumulated as a result of the use of an unpatterned method.

Gary Salton

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