You know the old expression "one thing at a time?" Many expressions, stories and fables tend to stick around because they resonate with us. Because there is a deep truth to them.
You'd think being a technology guy (who loves his gadgets), that I'd be all over trying to do several things at once. Believe me, I've tried. It's just that I feel like I'm running on the spot and not getting anywhere. I've marveled at people in my industry that seem to effortlessly multitask (inevitably while highly caffeinated) and have felt inadequate in their presence.
So, I did a little digging to see if I was missing some critical multitasking gene...turns out there has been plenty of decent research on the topic.
Here's a little bit: http://search.apa.org/search?query=multitasking
In short, we're just not wired to multitask effectively. Cognitive switching costs are a big part of the problem. We just don't switch from one thing to another as easily as some might think.
Now I can go back to work. One thing at a time.