In my last newsletter, I spoke about how I'm giving up on the idea of multitasking. I wanted to expand on this thought and share with you more information on why I'm moving to a single-tasking mindset.
First things first, our brains aren't designed to multitask. In fact, this just exhausts us, creates stress, leads to mental decline and pushes us towards shutting down. We have grown up in a society that encourages productivity vs progress and this gives birth to ideologies like multitasking is "better" than single-tasking.
Let's break things down, productivity is essentially defined as the ability to work through things and check them off your list. This is where the idea of multitasking blooms. It's not about how you get it done or how you feel when you're doing it as long as it gets done. You're basically taking away any creative energy associated with the task at hand. Whereas progress is a mindset that pushes us towards our goals. When we give progress more weight than productivity we begin to achieve more. Yes, productivity with multitasking makes you feel fulfilled in the short-term but a focus on progress brings you your long-term goals. This is where single-tasking comes into play.
Single-tasking allows us to pull our entire focus in on one task; funny enough, when we do this we are actually more productive. Although you may not think you're getting as much done, you're more efficient and celebrating your creativity by focusing on one task at a time. This leads to satisfying results and pushes towards your goals with a focus on progress.
Single-tasking also helps:
Conserve energy (our brains consume more energy than any other body part)
Improves our attention span
Makes us feel happier
Enhances the creative output
That said, single-tasking is not an easy shift and modern technology doesn't help. Although I'm still learning to single-task, here are some quick tips that help me:
1. Remove technology
Ok, I get that many tasks may involve technology so let me share an example. When I'm working on a website design, I generally close all tabs, only have the one I'm working on open, play some music that won't distract (I prefer without lyrics) and place my phone on a shelf that sits behind my work area. This allows me to focus solely on the website design vs getting distracted by notifications on phone or emails popping up in other tabs.
2. Take breaks
Sometimes we encourage multitasking because we may be experiencing a creative block. Instead of switching to multitasking mode, go for a walk, have a 10 min solo dance party, or do a quick breathing exercise, the point is just to step away for a few seconds. When you return you'll find yourself ready to take on any challenge.
3. Simplify your daily schedule
Every day choose three goals you're going to prioritize. By doing this you're telling yourself that these three tasks are what matters. It pushes you to focus there without being overwhelmed or distracted by other things you may have on the go.
4. Create a space
I know we talked about removing technology but it's also about having a clean workspace. If you have papers scattered around your desk or an old coffee mug from 2 days ago chances are they will distract you. Try to create a clean work environment that allows you to focus on a single-task.
There you have it! Hope this helps your business gain success.