My experience shows that men are better on cutting out distractions and focussing on one task than women. Maybe this flipside is where the myth has come from? I agree though, I think I would be more effective if I just did one thing at a time!
Some can and some can't...I'd say its an individual thing, the same way that some women can't multitask. I've met more men that can't multitask, my hubby included and its been like a foreign concept to them.
Do you think it is how we're made or how we have to be? I agree that with children it is hard to focus on one thing at a time but I wonder if it's just mothers tend to get more practice at it than fathers, rather than an innate ability.
I am genuinely undecided on this one! My husband and son both focus obsessively on one task at a time, to the point that if I need their attention I have to physically interpose myself between them and the task. I couldn't work like that if you paid me! My brain fires in multiple directions at once.
But... I once read a very interesting article about how Formula 1 drivers operate and it said that the reason Michael Schumacher was so successful was because he is extremely gifted at multitasking.
A lot of interesting replies and interesting point being made! However, amongst the men that I know, there aren't too many who can manage multi tasking. And I think a woman who has had children is particularly good at multitasking!