6 SIMPLE STEPS TO SINGLE TASKING
If you have lots of tabs open on your computer screen, several emails being written at once, opened books scattered on your desk and a handful of proposals and content plans waiting to be finished, you feel busy and important. Right? Surely you're bring productive and you're on top of my to do list this week?
In fact you feel stressed, overwhelmed and quite frankly, procrastination is kicking in – like all of a sudden, the floors in the kitchen need mopping, you might reorganise your bookshelf and start thinking about heading down to the post office to see if a package has arrived.
The thing is, we're growing up in the age of multitasking where you can’t call yourself productive or successful if you're not a good multitasker. And to be honest, for a while, being a multitasker feels good.
But it doesn’t anymore.
Being a multitasker sets you up for fail; it’s less efficient and more complicated. You're not pouring 100% of your concentration, creativity and motivation into tasks because your mind is scattered across multiple tasks.
The truth is, our brains are not designed to do multiple things at once. So let us introduce you to the concept of ‘single tasking’. The art of single tasking is having the ability to do one thing, and nothing else. In short, single tasking is the ability to be mindful and live in the moment. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – writing an email or making yourself a cup of coffee, living your life this way will increase your creativity, energy and focus.
So to help you get your shit done better and faster, here are 6 simple steps to single tasking.
STEP ONE: GIVE YOUR BRAIN DOWN TIME
It’s impossible to be switched on every second of the day so to live a successful single tasking lifestyle, take several short breaks a day. Get some fresh air, take a walk outside, grab a bite to eat – these are all great examples for giving your brain down time to ensure you single task optimally.
STEP 2: GET YOUR SHIT DONE SEQUENTIALLY
Our brains are wired for deep and innovative thinking, but it’s impossible to do if you’re trying to do several things at once. It takes a concentrated effort to leave the chaos of multitasking behind, so it is essential to get your shit done sequentially. Take your time, do one thing at a time and do it well.
STEP 3: FOCUS WITHOUT DISTRACTION
This is our favourite. When you single task, you need to remove all distractions. Put your phone in another room (and on silent), close down your emails, turn the television off and focus on performing one task at a time. If you’re new to this and find yourself struggling, start with short intervals, such as 15 minutes, and work your way up to longer time periods. You’ll be amazed at the volume of work you produce and the creativity you have when you focus without distraction. You will also find your accuracy, innovation and speed increases ten fold!
STEP 4: MAKE A WORKING TO DO LIST
There is no point having a to do list if it’s not working. In fact, knowing how to write an effective to do list (that actually works) is the secret weapon for creative entrepreneurs. But you need to know how to use them properly. Wanna know how? We show you here.
STEP 5: PICK A FEW TASKS EACH DAY
The key to single tasking is to just pick a few tasks each day, allocate them to your most important list and complete them first. Whilst you may keep a longer to do list, the key is to pick just a few things each day, do them well and complete those tasks.
STEP 6: KEEP A NOTEBOOK
If an idea strikes or other things come up, and let’s be honest this happens all the time, write them down immediately in a notebook then close the notebook and look at it when you have finished your most important tasks. This is so you don’t get sidetracked but also so you don’t forget the things you need to remember later.
Words by YCS Director, Jaharn Giles