To this day, I still see job descriptions that list "multitasking" as a preferred or required skill. It boggles my mind.
Aren't we past that? Don't we know better by now? Isn't asking for multitasking as a skill for today's jobs a bit like asking for a knowledge of bloodletting as a skill for doctors?
The drawbacks of multitasking
There is a well-established pile of evidence that multitasking is actually counterproductive.
…the power of multitasking is a myth. Human beings are, essentially, single-core processors. We can't effectively check our email, listen to someone asking us for feedback on a project, and take notes simultaneously. We can do it, sure, but everything suffers. Juggling tasks divides your attention, increases the time spent refocusing on important tasks (making you less productive), often gives people the impression that you aren't completely focused on them (because you're not), and robs you of a powerful focus you could be directing towards a single important task.
But wait, it gets worse! Multitasking is also harmful to your physical and mental health, and reduces your decision-making ability:
Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness. Chronic multitaskers also have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can damage the memory region of the brain.