The short answer is no. The long answer is also no, but accompanied by some actual reasons.
I used to think that it was possible to multitask. That may not have been the case for everyone, but, sure, some people can multitask. They have the ability to listen to music or watch TV while working on homework or surfing the web. I never thought I had that skill myself, but I had been told by so many of my friends and family that they COULD DEFINITELY multitask. And who am I to tell them they’re wrong? Well, in 2012 I decided they were and I haven’t believed a single multitasker since.
Like many former believers in multitasking, I had the impossibility of multitasking demonstrated to me in class. In a room full of people who were convinced they could multitask, a professor of mine had us complete 2 tasks at the same time and show us that we either could not complete both tasks at the same time, that we were significantly less efficient at both tasks, or that we thought we were doing both tasks at the same time, when really we were just switching back and forth in rapid succession between the two.
I don’t doubt that there are people who can read a book while playing music with lyrics. What I do doubt, is that they are listening to the words of those lyrics while they read the words of the book they are reading. I don’t doubt that people can put a TV show on while they do homework, but what I do doubt is that they are actually watching and absorbing what they have have on while they work on that homework.
Now, I’ll say it probably doesn’t ultimately matter whether people think they’re getting away with multitasking or not. But, my two cents on this are that one or both tasks are being done poorly. Why is it so essential that you listen to music with lyrics or watch that 30 minute TV show or catch the most recent football game while you’re working on something that your brain actually needs to focus on? Is it enriching your life that much? Does it give you a ton of added benefit that you otherwise wouldn’t be getting? I think too many people kid themselves into thinking they’re getting two birds with one stone instead of just prioritizing one activity at a time and completing it well.