In the realm of computing, a thread is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently. In most cases, a thread is deemed a component of a process. Multiple threads can exist within one process, executing concurrently and sharing resources such as memory. Thus, programmers must determine how many threads and processes to allot for at any given time.
Single-threading, the processing of one command at a time, isn’t very common in our modern world of multithreading, multitasking, and multiprocessors. Such is the sophistication of modern hardware and software. Unfortunately, though the computers we humans design improve in processing power on a regular basis, humans themselves do not.
Every minute of every day, our brains manage countless conscious and unconscious individual operations related to cognition, perception, regulation, communication, and motor control. Yet even the most complex organ in the human body has its limits. Overloading the conscious capacity of our brains leads to a decline in effectiveness and speed. Basically, when you try to do too many things at once, you take longer to achieve worse results.
Single-threading opens a door to a new reality of productivity and effectiveness. Committing to just one important task at a time leads to better work in less time. If you’re studying, you learn more faster. If you’re writing, you write better faster. If you’re working, you accomplish more faster, so on and so forth. Smart single-threaders achieve better results in less time than most multitaskers.
Multitasking makes sense when you’re trying to maximize leisure time; go ahead and chat with friends while watching a video, listening to music, and playing with your pet. But when working on tasks that actually matter, embrace the concept of single-threading rather than multitasking.