Feeling Most Centered In The Fastest Current?

Jenna Wortham discovers that throwing herself into the fastest currents of a liquid web is where she feels most stable and centered. Contrary to conventional wisdom, moving your distractable self into a torrent of distractions may be the background white noise we have more than learned to live with: now, it nurtures us.

When Internet Distractions Make Us More Efficient - Jenna Wortham via NYTimes.com

[…] sometimes I’ve found that losing myself in the Web can be invigorating. Instead of needing to turn off the noise of the Web, I often use it to calm my nerves so I can finish my work.

It seems that instead of fracturing my focus and splintering my attention span, digital distractions have become a part of my work flow, part of the process, along with organizing notes and creating an outline for each article I write. Perhaps it’s possible to master the demands on my attention by figuring out a way to juggle the multitude of apps and services that beg to be looked at, clicked on and answered.

If my brain is learning how to cope with distractions, is it possible that others are, too?

Of course, the consensus among scientists and researchers is that trying to juggle many tasks fractures our thinking and degrades the quality of each action. But understanding the plasticity of the brain, or its ability to adapt and reorganize its pathways, is still in its early stages.

Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the impact of interruption on performance and memory, says it’s possible that our brains are adapting to handle the many inputs of digital stimulation. He and his research team are using interactive video games to observe how the brain adapts to multiple tasks that increase in difficulty over time.

“We can train ourselves to get better,” he said. “We’re studying the plasticity of the brain so we can understand how abilities can improve.”

It may be that the brain — or some brains — can handle certain levels of multitasking and not others, he said. Surfing the Web and talking on the phone may not place the same demand on available cognitive resources as, say, cruising down the highway and sending a text message. It’s an area of research that scientists and psychologists are just starting to explore, he said.

“We’re pushing the brain to master switching between tasks,” he said. “But if abilities can actually improve, the question is, by how much?”

Wortham and Gazzaley don’t explictly mention the work of Watson and Strayer  on supertaskers — people who really suffer no degradation of performance when doing two difficults tasks at the same time. It is not some statistic fluke, either.

But the naysayers will continue prattling about the impossibility of multitasking, that it is dehumanizing, and degrades our thinking, and even makes us less connected to other people. This is ideologically motivated, just like the scare tactics about comic books leading to crime, or video games inspiring violence, or rock-and-roll making teenagers promiscuous.

Most important is the fact that the human mind is plastic: we can learn new skills, and that changes our thinking. Trained musicians, for example, use more parts of the brain than non-musicians when listening to music.

And we know that mastery is different from learning. It takes a long time before our first efforts at playing the piano or studying karate are rewarded.  It might be that Jenna Wortham has been living in the stream long enough that she has developed new cognitive skills that both help her do her work and make her feel more centered, at the same time.

Goodbye Multitasking--Hello Supertasking

By Laura Vanderkam, Fast Company, June 25, 2014

Most of us do not multitask well. Check email while on a conference call, and you may miss a question directed right at you. Or worse, you try to participate in that conference call while driving and don’t see another motorist trying to switch into your lane. The National Safety Council estimates that in 2012, 26% of U.S. motor vehicle crashes involved the use of cell phones or texting.

But a very small number of people appear to handle multiple tasks well. These “supertaskers” are teaching scientists fascinating aspects about the brain—though you shouldn’t bet that you’re one of them the next time you try to do two things at once.

Given our multitasking world, how and what people pay attention to is becoming a well-researched topic. A 2010 study by Jason M. Watson and David L. Strayer had participants take part in a driving simulation in stop-and-go traffic. At the same time, participants had to answer questions recalling words in certain orders and answer simple math problems. Most people did neither task well. Their braking reaction time increased and their ability to answer the questions decreased compared with people only doing one task. About 2.5% of people were able to do both tasks well. Their braking time did not increase, and they scored toward the top on the word order and math questions.

It’s easy to imagine that these “supertaskers” have advantages over the other 97.5% of humanity, particularly in a world where refusing to take one client call while driving to another client would be considered horribly inefficient. No one likes to think of herself as average, therefore, plenty of high performers, hearing about the existence of supertaskers, assume they are among them.

So are you a “supertasker?” There’s an online test you can use to find out. But the answer is: probably not. The New Yorker magazine writer Maria Konnikova reported on this topic recently, and found that when Strayer and his colleague David Sanbonmatsu at the University of Utah asked some 300 students about their ability to multitask, and then studied their multitasking performances. “They found a strong relationship; an inverse one,” Konnikova reports. “The better someone thought she was, the more likely it was that her performance was well below par.”

The vast majority of us are best off sticking to one task at a time. After all, driving off the road is among the least efficient things you can do.

WordPress Fixes BASIC and PRO Plans

Even though our SuperTaskers are super-fast, there certainly is a limit to what they can achieve in 1 hour! There is endless diversity of quick WordPress fixes which are impossible to exhaustively itemize here, however below is an indication of the most common type of Tasks included and those not included in our BASIC and PRO plans.

Included:

  • Small design, style and CSS changes
  • Small graphic editing
  • Quick configurations
  • Themes configurations
  • Plugin modifications
  • Small HTML and JavaScript changes
  • Forms fixes and modifications
  • WordPress version updates
  • Move WordPress site to another folder
  • Restore access to site when the user is locked out

Not Included:

  • Responsive design
  • Complicated WP plugin development
  • Move WordPress site to another web host
  • Theme Installation/Setup
  • Unknown, undetermined or poorly specified fixes

What if I’m unsure or I got it wrong?

Worry not. We deliver an end-to-end service where every Order is moderated and looked at. If you end up asking for too much (which we don’t encourage as it will slow down the experience) we will contact you and advise of  how to edit it down or if you still need the Task done the extra time / cost needed to deliver it.

The birth of the ST Blog!

Hi SuperTaskers and SuperCustomers! 

Today marks a memorable day for us. Not just because of the birth of our blog but also because we launched SuperTasker more ‘officially’ as announced in this post on our parent’s blog - PeoplePerHour. Mom, dad, thanks we love you ! ;) 

Its been a great journey to date albeit short. We started work on SuperTasker no sooner than January this year. Since then we launched a private alpha phase, we changed names from DeskDonkie (its seems the humour in the name was not appropriately appreciated :)), we introduced new task categories such as our 1-hour Wordpress fixes which is now the best-seller, and finally today we are launching out of Beta. 

Our early community has been very inspiring to work with, with some great ideas and feedback coming from you. This has been most helpful and refreshing and we’ve already implemented numerous fixes to make the experience for Buyer and Seller more seamless. Lots more of that will follow as we are building out the ST team to grow and improve the service.

Whilst still incubated in our parent company PeoplePerHour, SuperTasker is quickly going from infant to baby and becoming independent. We now have a dedicated team, the latest of which is a Product Manager - Giorgos - whose  job is to ensure that all our users voices are heard and the  experience keeps getting better with new features and fixes.  He will be regularly updating you on here with the latest and greatest, and we’d love for you to comment and give us our feedback so we can improve the experience together with you. Feel free to drop him a line and say hi, or to any of us at supertaskers@peopleperhour.com 

SuperTasker has a grand vision, of enabling a seamless, frictionless delivery of small ‘packaged’ tasks super fast. You will be hearing this until you are - no doubt - quite sick of it :) but till then you may find it useful to get a more detailed download in our launch announcement here. 

Read the formal announcement here 

Lastly, on this glorious moment I’d like to share with you one of our early glories at  SuperTasker, a great article published at Forbes here, explaining the big picture and vision for SuperTasker (much better than I could put it !) 

Till the next time, have a Super(tasker) time ! 

Xenios

Founder & CEO 

 

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video