The other day on the way to lunch, one of my friends was reading something about multi-tasking - specifically, that you should NOT multi-task. There was even something about how you could actually lose IQ points if you multi-tasked.
My other friend was appalled at the thought of not multi-tasking. She spends most of her day taking care of the needs and immediate concerns of lots of people who will rush into her office with their drama and make it her drama. She juggles a lot of stuff at work and at home. I could easily see that she needs to be able to multi-task. She is also one of the smartest people I know, so I don't think she's in too much danger of losing IQ points.
As for me, I have already found out that I am not good at multi-tasking. Maybe as I'm getting older, I'm getting slower, and it's harder for me to toggle myself between tasks. That's not to say that if I'm working on something and someone comes in and needs my help, I won't stop what I'm doing to help them. But here's the thing: I stop what I'm doing. If that person needs something right now, I'll help them. If it's not urgent and I can finish up what I'm doing, or at least get to a good spot to stop and then help them, I'll do that.
I multi-task a little more at home when my complete attention isn't needed. I will read while I'm watching a basketball game. It's pretty much impossible to pay attention to two things at once, I think. I just like the background of the ball game, and when the announcers get their excited voice on, I'll look up and pay attention. I play with my beloved iPhone while I ride my exercise bike. I'm certainly not getting much out of either activity, but I'm getting a little something out of both. Does that make sense?
Everyone multi-tasks, and some people are really good at it. More power to you! I'll keep plodding along and hold on to the little bit of IQ points that I have.