More than 4000 people have completed the Multi-tasking Test and the researchers from the University of Queensland are thrilled. They can't wait to get their hands on the data and see what it tells them about our multi-tasking habits and especially what makes a good multi-tasker.
As the rigorous scientific analysis of the multi-tasking test data will probably take months, possibly years, we couldn't resist having a quick (and not scientifically verified) poke around some of the data to compile a few surprising insights into how much Australians multi-task our different types of media.
Across the nation...
- Victorians consistently topped the lists across the many categories of multi-tasking investigated - they're more likely to be juggling watching TV, reading, texting, talking, playing computer games or surfing the web.
- On the whole, Queenslanders and Western Australians were least likely to do so!
- Australians spend an average of 1.5-2 hours per day texting!
- We spend around an hour a day surfing the web; people in VIC, NSW and the ACT spend more than the national average of 9 per cent of that time texting.
- Australians spend between 2 hours (ACT) and 3 hours (NT) a day watching TV ... but Northern Territorians aren't just a bunch of couch potatoes: they're also more likely than anyone else to indulge in a spot of work at the same time.
The battle of the sexes...
- Nearly twice the number of women than men took the test
- Women talk for an hour longer than men every day ... but they're also more likely to be doing something else at the same time
- Women spend a lot more time talking, reading, texting and working whilst watching TV than men do. Men are more likely to be watching something else or playing computer games.
The generation gap...
- It seems that we talk less as we age - People under 22 spend more than 6 hours a day talking, compared to an average of 3 hours for those over 66
- Our tendency to multi-task also decreases with age: the youngest age group tested multi-tasked whilst talking more than twice as much as the eldest!
- Interestingly, young people under 22 spend about the same time as retirees (over 66) reading a book - on average at least half an hour more than Gen Y, Gen X or the baby boomers
- People under 22 spend 2 hours 45 minutes a day texting; Gen Y spend 2 hours; Gen X spend 1 hour, 42 minutes; Baby boomers spend 1 hour and 23 minutes and Retirees spend just one hour texting
- People under 22 spend more time multi-tasking while web-surfing than any other generation
The real results...
The scientific analysis by the University of Queensland researchers will take place once the test closes in mid September.