For years now, the idea of multitasking has been seen as a productivity enhancing activity. But, anyone who has tried to talk to someone on the phone who is also doing their email knows that they are not either productive or effective at either task. We should think of multitasking as doing multiple tasks badly. You don't save any time usually, and most often it will add time to your overall day. AND, you'll have to redo many of the tasks because there will be so many errors, because your attention cannot be on two tasks at once. I have been in call centers before when people were trying to answer technical support calls and read a book at the same time. How well do you think that support rep understood the customer that was on the phone?
We should be clear that there are delays in some processes, and during those delays filling that time with something productive is a good thing. THIS IS NOT MULTITASKING. This is time management, which is good and will enhance productivity. Start enhancing your effectiveness today, by not jumping to a new task anytime that your computer system has a 10 second delay (10 seconds isn't enough time to switch to a new task!), making to-do lists and staying on each single task until it is complete and please, for the sake of all of us, don't talk on the phone and do email at the same time.
This idea also transfers to talking on the phone and driving at the same time!!!!