However, until you have perfected making a cup of coffee, whilst ironing, keeping an eye on your Mecca Bingo game on the tablet and catching up on your favourite soap, all whilst listening out for the phone because one of your freelance clients is bound to ring anytime soon, then you haven't quite mastered the art of multi-tasking - and let's be honest, it's a great skill to have.
The benefits of perfecting your multi tasking skills are bountiful and include saving time and improving productivity. Our numerous media outlets can help things along; you could be answering an email on your laptop, talking on your phone and listening to music on your tablet - accomplishing all three tasks at once.
According to researchers, studies have shown that media multi tasking does not hurt, and in fact those who multi task regularly on multiple media platforms perform better in thought involved tasks. So how can multi tasking help you on a day-to-day basis at work and at home?
Combining tasks logically saves more time than if you completed them one after the other, freeing up time to yourself or to include extra work in your day. Don't stop what you are doing whilst on that phone call at work, pop the handset on loudspeaker or invest in a headset and continue typing up work or emails whilst you talk. You'd continue working normally whilst chatting with your colleagues, so it shouldn't make any real impact when talking on the phone.
Doing three tasks at a time allows you to accomplish them quicker, leaving more time for extra work. You can quickly get on top of your to do list by multi tasking and check everything off in a shorter time, improving productivity at work - and at home.
However, you must ensure that your multi tasking technique isn't having an impact on the quality of the tasks you are completing all at once, and that you aren't becoming stressed with the situation.
Focus on what needs to be done first and combine that with something simple.
A good example would be that you need to type up minutes from a meeting from your written notes but you also need to listen to a podcast a thought-leader for the industry you work in has put out. Both are very easy to carry out together.
Whilst you are completing these tasks open up your Twitter feed in another window on your screen to keep an eye on what is going on in the world that could affect you. Three tasks, which could all be completed separately, one after the other, all being completed at the same time. It's also a good idea to multi task when you feel most alert, so first thing on a Monday morning probably isn't the best time to attempt juggling your workload.
Multi tasking can be applied to both the home and workplace, so try it out for yourself and see what benefits you experience, whether you have more free time for your family or friends or manage to finish numerous tasks in one day, when they should have taken up two.