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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-46. Doing Many Things at One Time

Wersja do druku

Voice 1


Welcome to Spotlight. I'm Joshua Leo.


Voice 2


And I'm Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Voice 1


New communication tools come out every day - phones for SMS and talking, and computers for email and instant messenger. Many people use these tools at the same time, so that they can do more things at one time. A person may be sitting at home watching television. But he is also working on a laptop computer and sending text messages.

tool - narzędzie

come out - wychodzić, pojawiać się

instant messenger - komunikator (np. Gadu-Gadu, Skype)

at one time - w tym samym czasie, równocześnie

Voice 2


Technology makes it easier to do many things at one time. And many cultures push people to always be connected to some form of communication. Many people feel very comfortable doing all these things at the same time.

push - pchać, popychać

connect - włączyć

comfortable - wygodny; swobodny

Voice 1


Many of us check our email and text messages many times during the day, sometimes many times an hour! We take short breaks from our work to visit websites and see what new things are happening. We may try to check email while talking on the telephone. We call this multitasking - doing many tasks, or jobs at the same time. But is this the best way to work? Today's Spotlight is on multitasking and how we can improve our ability to concentrate.

break - przerwa

check - sprawdzać

multitasking - wielozadaniowość

improve - poprawić

ability - umiejętność

Voice 2


At first, multitasking may sound like a good idea. If we can do two things at the same time, we can get more done. Two tasks done at one time would only take half the time. But scientists and brain experts say that this idea is a myth. It is not true. Some experts even say that multitasking may damage the way the brain works.

get more done - wykonać więcej pracy

scientist - naukowiec

myth - mit

brain - mózg

damage - niszczyć

Voice 1


These scientists say that the human brain does not do many things at once very well. Instead, the brain moves from one thing to the other very quickly. Damon Young is a philosopher. He wrote a book about the problem of multitasking. He told the BBC,


Voice 3


"When we move from our job to an email, it takes about a minute for our brain to recover what we were thinking about. Then we get another email or message, so our concentration is broken. The result is that we are not really multitasking. We are moving between tasks in a bad way."

recover - wrócić do poprzedniego stanu; odzyskać

Voice 2


Studies show that when people move from one task to another quickly, they work quickly but get less done. Multitasking makes a person feel like they are busy doing a lot of work but they are really just busy trying to do the work. One study looked at the performance of students in a mathematics class. One group of students was forced to multitask while solving a mathematics problem. Another group was told to concentrate only on the problem. The multitasking group took forty percent more time and felt more emotional pressure.

performance - wyniki, wydajność

solve - rozwiązywać

pressure - presja

Voice 1


One study even found that people who multitask often are worse at multitasking than other people. The scientists found that multitasking can change the way a person's brain works. Multitasking people have difficulty telling the difference between important and non-important information. They are less able to concentrate on only one thing.


Voice 2


But many people believe that multitasking is possible. Doctors agree, but only with particular things. John Duncan is a professor at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He says that success in multitasking depends on two things: Practice and the differences in the tasks, or jobs.

depend on - zależeć od

difference - różnica

Voice 1


Many people multitask with success every day. Most people who drive cars can also talk with a friend while driving. When a person learns to drive, all their concentration goes to changing gears and making the correct turns. But when a person has been driving for many years, she can drive, change gears, listen to the radio, and talk, all at the same time. Professor Duncan says this is possible because of many years of driving practice.

change gears - zmieniać biegi

Voice 2


But Professor Duncan also says that the tasks in multitasking must be different from each other. He says that the brain has very separate areas for different jobs. There are areas for language, areas for sound, areas for movement, and areas for images. The brain has an easier time doing two different things that use two different areas of the brain. Driving and talking do not use the same parts of the brain. But tasks like answering email and talking on the phone both use communication, speech, and words. The brain cannot manage both of these tasks at the same time.

separate - oddzielny

language - język

sound - dźwięk

movement - ruch

image - obraz

speech - mowa

manage - radzić sobie

Voice 1


So what can people do to fight against the problems of multitasking? People still have to do many things in a day. Here are some ways to concentrate better and get more work done.


Voice 2


Some experts suggest that people should do tasks for fifteen minutes at a time. Instead of checking your email ten times in an hour, write and read emails once for fifteen minutes. This gives your brain time to do each task well.

task - zadanie

Voice 1


Plan different kinds of tasks next to each other. Follow a problem-solving task with a meeting with people. Plan a visual task after a listening task. This gives different areas of your brain time to rest.

next to each other - obok siebie

follow X with Y - zrobić Y po X

rest - odpoczynek

Voice 2


Does your phone or computer makes a noise to let you know you have a new message? These noises force us to stop doing the task we are working on. They break our concentration. Turn off these sounds, and plan times to look for messages.

force - zmuszać

turn off - wyłączyć

Voice 1


Create to-do lists. At the beginning of the day, make a list of the tasks you must do. Put the most important task at the top of that list. Do that task first. As you complete the tasks, cross them off the list.

to-do list - lista rzeczy do zrobienia

at the top - na górze

complete - ukończyć

cross off - wykreślić

Voice 2


Create a space that will help you concentrate. Work in a quiet place. Do not face doors or windows where you might see things that will take your mind away from your work. If your work does not depend on working with other people, separate yourself from them. Put a sign on your door to prevent people from breaking your concentration.

space - miejsce, przestrzeń

face - być ustawionym przodem do

sign - wywieszka

prevent - powstrzymywać

Voice 1


When you feel like you want to take a break or stop a task, use the "five more rule". Read five more pages. Do five more mathematics problems. Work five more minutes. This will help you get used to working for longer periods of time. It will help you fight the urge to stop a task too early.

get used - przyzwyczaić się

period - okres

fight - zwalczyć

urge - silna potrzeba

Voice 2


With all the information flowing to us every minute of every day, it is often difficult to just do one thing. But it is important to learn how to focus on one task and complete it.

focus - skoncentrować się, skupić się

Voice 1


Is concentration difficult for you? Do you multitask? How do you focus to get work done? Give your opinion on our website at Or email us at


Voice 2


The writer and producer of this program was Joshua Leo. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes have been adapted and voiced by Spotlight. This program is called "Doing Many Things at One Time".


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