Increase Your Productivity: The Benefits of Single Tasking
I’m a mother of five, so believe me, I know about multi-tasking. I’m a pro at trying to juggle dinner, homework, the barking dog, and the whining baby. I was a pro at multi-tasking, until I discovered a better way to do things. I now believe that in most cases, single tasking helps me get more done with less stress and with better quality results. This is applicable both to family life and to work life. Many people believe that multi-tasking is the only way to be more productive with your time. I disagree and here’s why:
- When you multi-task, your time is divided among your many tasks throughout the day. You may end the day having done a lot of work, but with not much to show for it. Often you may not have even completed one task. This can be disappointing to reach the end of the day and not be able to cross many items off your list.
- Because your attention is focused on many items, you may be more prone to make errors because you are trying to do too many things at once. Also, the quality of the work that you complete may be acceptable, but is it truly your best work? We should all be striving to do our best for our families and for our job. Not performing your best work can affect your performance evaluations and your potential for growth in your career.
- Working on multiple tasks at once is more stressful. Your brain is working much harder to maintain quality on more than one item. You are more tired at the end of the day.
How to single task:
A To-Do-List is still an important way to begin your day. Write down what tasks you need to complete, but instead of working on multiple items at once, you will select your highest priority task and focus on it until it has been completed. If you are at the office, remove all other items from your desk, except the one that you are working on. If you are home, put everything else aside and focus on the one household task that you are doing. Once the one item has been completed, move on to the next. Perform your work carefully and use your best effort.
- You will achieve more and have a better sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
- You will have performed your work at the best of your abilities, because you were focused.
- You will be calmer and less stressed, because your brain did not have to work as hard.
Single tasking is achievable even in the office where you may have many responsibilities. Setting priorities is the best way to approach this. You will find that your deliverables will be better and you will produce better quality work. By focusing on the highest priority items first, you will ensure that you are still meeting the timelines required in your position.
Try single tasking and see what difference it can make in your day. Share your results with us!