Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Multitasking, ADD and The Gender Gap...

What is multitasking? The short answer is:

"Human multitasking is the apparent performance by an individual of handling more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is taking phone calls while typing an email. Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention."See Wikipedia Human Multitasking for the long answer.

My wife and I were talking about it briefly because I often hear how bad men are supposed to be at it versus women. So maybe I am just more in touch with my feminine side. The Wiki answer above goes into some detail about it. But i was wondering what YOU think.

Personally, I don't know what is the chicken and what is the egg in my case, but I do know that virtually every moment of my life is spent multitasking.

As an MD (Musical Director, not medical doctor): I generally find myself doing at least three things every moment I am on stage. At my church, I am playing auxiliary keyboards (strings, organ etc) running loops or sequences, making sure we are in sync with said loop or sequence, singing lead and or back up vocals, listening for the other singers to make sure we're singing unison or harmony or not at all at a given moment, watching our leader to determine what is going to happen next, trying to determine how in the world I can get to the next sound I need to play, trying to subtly ask for more or less of something from our sound engineers, trying to see what my son is doing in the congregation (if he's not on stage), marveling at our Pastor's bass playing and oh yes worshiping God (and NOT letting all the other things I am doing show on my face so I don't distract others from worshipping God.)

As a band leader (and sometimes member): I am singing lead or backup, usually playing bass (thank God, just one note to mess up at a time and 5000 less sound choices to make), trying to gauge the crowd and determine whether or not to change the setlist on the fly and segue into another song that has just occurred to me, decide whether enough of the band will know that song that I want to go to, whether they will stick to the progression we're in or try to go to the real progression of the new song, (This is actually a blast and I work with incredible musicians who tend to find me so quickly that only a trained musician on the outside of the band could tell we haven't been doing that medley for years, interact with the rest of the band (and by interact I mean insert other songs that can be medleyed to at a later date or just make them laugh, (music is supposed to be fun and that is often my Prime Directive, to make sure the band and the crowd are having fun), dancing, interacting with the crowd, try to see the setlist around my microphone because they often don't work and play well together.

 Aaron Gayden Band

Steven Randal Band

Eric Goetze and AG at Karma Cafe
No Taboo w/ Papa J of Sly and The Family Stone



At work in the studio: juggle the schedules of the 6 bands (I occasionally drop in on even more...) I'm in with my MD work, contact venues, band members, make charts, sequences, keyboard patches, record parts, learn music, sync music to ipad and droid phone, scan charts send to ipad, rip CD's, try to put them back where they came from, try to reassemble studio from last gig where I needed to take PA, make enough room to rehearse in studio, figure out why imac crashes while running a very light session in Pro Tools... search internet for more work, create press material and on and on... In the midst of this my only breaks are for physical necessities and checking on Bleacher Report for what is up with the Lakers and to a lesson extent the Trojans and Facebook which is half work and half break (more multitasking) Often in the background is talk radio so I know what is going on in the world since we don't have TV. *Streaming talk radio is considerably less data intensive than stream video or audio.

The at work list must be stopped here because...I need to actually do some of said work.

do wii sports while listening to the bible and running

At home:
Posting about how geeky we are while geeking out to (in this case) THE JJ: Star Trek Into Darkness. Other than that type of thing I TRY to force myself not to multitask during fam time.

All this to say. If  I couldn't multitask I don't think I would ever get anything done because much of my work is NEVER EVER done and there are only so many hours in a day and they are all spoken for. Do I multitask because I am ADD anyway or does my ADD help me to function as my job requires...

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?!?!?! I want to know what kind of multitasking you do! Men and women..

My wife said men and women multitask in different ways. I wanted to ask her what she meant by that but we had to go our separate ways to continue multitasking...