Last week we talked about how multitasking is not the productivity hack we thought and how multitasking leads to distractions and causes tasks to take longer.
But let’s be real. It’s more typical to multitask than it is to not. It’s also expected of us. Multitasking is normal in a world where people are expected to check emails and respond quickly.
Studies have revealed that on overage, we can only work for 3 minutes before switching tasks. Does that shock you?
To think we will get rid of multitasking altogether is unrealistic. However, given that we know the consequences of multitasking let’s look at the benefits of single-tasking and how we can reduce multitasking.
Those that can focus intently on one thing are at an advantage in today’s world because they will be able to get tasks done at a higher quality and in less time.
In addition, single-tasking is less stressful. You don’t spend extra energy switching between tasks and will be able to get into a state of flow. You reduce your stress by finishing what you set out to do in a reasonable time period.
You will also work on what you need to do to move your goals forward. When we are exhausted, we tend to pick tasks that are easy for us. Even if they are not our most important items.
Single-tasking also lets you get creative. When we focus on one thing at a time, we limit how much time we can spend on something. This means you focus on finding solutions and get creative on accomplishing things quickly and effortlessly.
Hopefully, by now, you agree that at least trying to reduce the amount you multitask is worth the effort. But how exactly can we do this?
The goal is to protect your focus by setting up your day and work environment for single-tasking and focus. This means removing triggers and distractions. Here are five ideas to decrease multitasking.
If you are used to multitasking, start with 15-20 minutes of focused work time and slowly increase it to 90 minutes if that works for you.
I know it will be challenging, but consider how much you will reduce distractions.
This is an example of “batching.” Think of other tasks you can batch together to keep your focus on one type of activity over a more extended period of time, recurring the brain drain of switching jobs.
If you want a more structured work/break schedule. Use something like the Pomodoro technique (work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break).
The five ideas to decrease multitasking are a start. Some are easier to implement than others.
For example, creating a work environment that encourages focus or creating a daily schedule might be two ideas you can start right away. Batching specific tasks like phone calls might work for you. The key is to start small and build more and more focused work.
Overall, multitasking decreases our focus; you can also help by introducing mindfulness into your day. This means being more present when doing activities. You can also consider adding meditation to your daily routines to help increase your focus.
Do you have other ideas to increase focus and reduce multitasking?
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at ahnd, the sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.Alexander Graham Bell
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at ahnd, the sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
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