Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

Is joggling multitasking?

Does joggling, which is juggling while running, count as multitasking? One of the most common compliments I receive when I joggle is “that’s great multitasking!”.

So I often ask myself if joggling counts as multitasking, and if being a competent joggler means I am a good multitasker(for the record, I am not).

It helps to have a good understanding of what multitasking is – Human multitasking

Truth be told, when we “multitask”, one or both of the tasks we are doing is compromised by doing the other. In reality, we are not really multitasking, at least not in the same way a computer with multiple processors multitasks. You will get a lot more done if you focus on one activity, rather than 2 or more.

You can’t study and watch a movie at the same time. Or rather, you sort of can, but do this before an important exam and see how well you do. Talking on the phone while working, or driving are also said to count as multitasking. Since humans are notoriously bad at multitasking, many states have laws against talking or texting on your smart-phone while driving.

As far as I am concerned, joggling strictly speaking isn’t really multitasking. It may be difficult to learn, but this does not necessarily make it multitasking. Running is mostly a mindless activity, especially if you do it on flat, familiar ground free of obstacles. And as you become good at juggling, it becomes similarly mindless, unless you’re doing all sorts of crazy tricks. While joggling, it is much more difficult to do juggling tricks, so juggling ability is very compromised. You will also very likely run more slowly while joggling.

Joggling looks more difficult than it really is. The juggling part is mostly automatic, similar to the running. I really do not have to concentrate that closely on it, which is why I am aware of my surroundings and can avoid people and obstacles in my path. All the while, I’m thinking about various work projects, errands I have to do, or humming along to the music in my head.

I could even add a third or fourth task to it and still joggle with little difficulty. I could chew gum or listen to music while joggling. I almost always joggle alone, but I occasionally have short conversations with people who drive up alongside me in their car or bicycle.

So no, I do not believe joggling counts as multitasking. In reality, no one is actually capable of multitasking without compromising what they are doing.