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I have a one track mind

  1. Nov 26, 2012 #1
    If human brains can be mapped to processors, I will definitely have a single core processor. I have a one track mind. I can only focus on one thing at a time. I see people working on many things at the same time. But I cannot do them like that. I work like a serial computer. My algorithm goes something like this:
    1. pick a task based on priority
    2. work on it
    3. if success goto 1
    4. if fail goto 2 (unless feel undoable)

    Nearly 90% of my works are done like this hard and fast rule. Whenever I divert from this rule I fail miserably(in my standard). That's why when I was given a task other than my field and which required thinking from various angle simultaneously, I was frustrated and could not do it. I can only multitask to some extent in my field of work(physics, math and electronics).

    Another thing of my brain is I can not take more than two activities in a day. I actually don't get time for other things being involved for long enough in a particular task to finish, which due to above mentioned serial-ness takes too much time. I want to do many thing that I cant do due to the characteristics of my brain.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2012 #2


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    That model might work for your consciousness, but it does not work for your subconsciousness. It works on many parallel tasks at once.
  4. Nov 26, 2012 #3


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    Here is some class notes regarding cognitive psychology:
    which should tell you that your brain is not that much different from that of others.
    Most people cannot multitask, but will need to shift attention and focus from one task to another.

    Perhaps you should consider the completion of a project as being the goal, with a split of the project into several smaller tasks. Each task would then reqiure selective focus. Once that task is complete you could move on to the next task of the same project, or a task of a different project.
  5. Nov 26, 2012 #4
    The term, "one track mind" actually refers to someone who is always thinking about the same thing, the same subject. It doesn't apply to what you're talking about.

    I think 256bits is right, that most people can only effectively think about one thing at a time. Multitaskers are no different. Their talent seems to lie in the ability to shift from one thing to another very quickly. I'm also not sure that people who claim to be able to multitask are actually producing quality results either. It could well be that you just get mediocre results spread over the wider range of tasks.
  6. Nov 26, 2012 #5
    When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it was going to be dirty. I guess I have a one track mind.
  7. Nov 26, 2012 #6
    Believe it or not conscious thoughts require less energy and use less of your brain. We achieve conscious thought by suppressing the unconscious activity of neurons along specific neural pathways in the brain. The way around the problem is to simply stop thinking so you can use more of your brain. Lao Tzu put it this way:

    Empty the self completely;
    Embrace perfect peace.
    The world will rise and move;
    Watch it return to rest.
    All the flourishing things
    Will return to their source.
    This return is peaceful;
    It is the flow of nature,
    An eternal decay and renewal.
    Accepting this brings enlightenment,
    Ignoring this brings misery.
  8. Nov 26, 2012 #7
    I guess I also have that "one track mind". :wink:
  9. Nov 26, 2012 #8
    Hmm, probably this is the case. But I find that in my case the delay between one task to another is very long in many cases. If its my favorite task its very short. Or it takes a hell lot of my time for me to prepare my mind for it.

    EDIT: Maybe it is the mindset of a lazy person.
  10. Nov 27, 2012 #9


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    Try threading? :biggrin:
  11. Nov 27, 2012 #10


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    I consider you lucky. I'm on very heavy medication which allows me to think of only 3 or 4 things at once. Without that, the minimum is a dozen. I refer to my Wellbutrin and Citalopram as my "I don't want to kill anyone today" pills. ADD is a (thing that I'm not allowed to type any more), and I envy your ability to focus.
  12. Nov 27, 2012 #11
    I tried running "mpiexec -n 4 --machinefile=brain0.list --hosts=localhead.localbody <task-executable>" on my brain terminal and it returned segmentation fault. Go figure.
  13. Nov 27, 2012 #12
    Yes. Sometimes I feel I could not have studied for long time without my focus. However, there's a lot of hobbies I miss out due to lack of time management. Every task takes just too much goddamn time (BTW I also complete huge portion of the task in a single go).
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