Low-level flying is an unforgiving business and it doesn't take much to get it wrong. This is why we have currencies, proficiencies and rules, to make sure that we are safe to operate when close to the ground.
You see, humans are exceptionally poor at multi-tasking and pilots are no different. Everybody thinks that pilots must be good at it but nothing could be further from the truth. Pilots don't multi-task - they just prioritise a task list exceptionally quickly. When a pilot is flying they try to have as clear a mind as possible, I liken it to a blank piece of paper or a whiteboard on an office wall. When a task comes in, such as a radio call, radar contact or something that requires an unplanned action from the pilot, it needs to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. It's like the task is automatically written onto the whiteboard but only one task can fit at any one time; the pilot must deal with it as fast as they can so that they can clear the whiteboard for the next task. Sometimes this might mean that the task gets half done or postponed as the next task that has come in is deemed more important; this is called prioritisation. If one task is ongoing when another task comes in then the pilot will attempt to compartmentalise the tasks, putting them both onto the whiteboard - in this case both tasks are now being done poorly. If another task comes in and the pilot cannot clear the whiteboard quickly enough then task-saturation can occur.
It is at this point that most of my friends have been killed.
The experienced pilot recognises task saturation approaching and applies the mantra 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate'. For most pilots hearing is the first sense we lose when we become overloaded, you miss a radio call. Personally, when I stop being able to effectively communicate with my formation or with air traffic, I recognise this as my first indication that all is becoming too much. At this point, especially if I am at low-level, I prioritise the flying of the aircraft and step my height up a little.
I prioritise the flying.
'You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.'