Juggling a multitude of hats - mother, wife, boss, employee, entrepreneur, chauffeur, coach, friend, lover, daughter and counsellor - can leave even the most effective multi-tasker in a quivering heap at the end of the day. So, is it really good for you?
Multi-tasking has almost become an Olympic sport these days. But are we really any more effective while trying to keep a multitude of balls in the air?
Psychologist Tammy Edwards says multi-tasking has been defined by the American Psychological Association as when a person tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switching from one task to another, or when someone performs two or more tasks in rapid succession.
"Psychologists who study what happens to cognition (mental process) when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind is not designed for heavy-duty multi-tasking," Mrs Edwards explains.
"To determine the costs of this kind of mental 'juggling', psychologists conducted task-switching tasks and found that participants lost significant amounts of time when they switched between multiple tasks and lost even more as they became more complex."
Mrs Edwards says it's not a question of whether multi-tasking is good for you - but how efficient it is.
This may not be an issue if you're combining small tasks like folding washing and watching a documentary at the same time. However, where safety and productivity are important, research suggests we're less productive at multi-tasking than sole-tasking.
And what about the assumption that women are better at multi-tasking than men?
"There is no conclusive evidence to suggest women are better at multi-tasking," Mrs Edwards says. "Some studies have shown a very slight advantage in accuracy for women multi-tasking. However it isn't statistically relevant."
In fact, dropping the multi-tasking juggling act may reduce stress, increase efficiency and be better for your health, Mrs Edwards says.
"Focusing on one thing at a time generally allows us to focus on the task at hand, to be in the moment and allow a calmer, more natural pace in going about our daily lives," she says.
While managing a number of tasks simultaneously may be stressful for many people, for others it's the best way to live, according to behavioural profiling consultant, Gillian Skeer.
Ms Skeer says having a lot on your plate is actually good for some people. She says it's important to recognise your natural behavioural style. Whether it's taking on lots of activities or scaling them back, working out which system is right for you will reduce your stress levels and allow you to be more productive."The demands of our extremely busy lifestyles tend to see many of us forced into trying to manage multiple tasks concurrently, whether we like it or not," Ms Skeer said.