The Concern of Multi-tasking
We all like to claim we are great multitaskers.
Focusing on two or more tasks at once makes us seem quicker, smarter, and masterful. But are we really multitasking the way we claim to be? Not really and here’s why.
When you multitask, you are actually switching your focus from one task to another task. For example, if you are developing a code and then pick up your phone or answer a colleague’s email, you have moved your full attention away from your work, even if you think you are vaguely engaged. Research shows that our brains can only focus on one task at a time. So why are we lauding ourselves over something that is scientifically unachievable?
That’s why the Industrious Framework suggests that you start being a proud practitioner of singularly focused.
Singularly focused means exerting all your efforts on one task at a time and completing it before beginning another one. This may seem hard to do within a life full of distractions but here are some tips on how to achieve it.
Make everything a task
We all have many things to do, but start each day by prioritizing what needs to be done and dividing them into singular tasks or events. Use applications like Google Calendar to allocate time for each task and set reminders to help you manage your schedule. You will see how efficient you will work when you can maintain adequate focus on each task. No task is too small. Make everything a "task", even when checking emails and text messages.
Breaks help you fuel up
You can’t drive a car from New York to Florida in one tank of gas. You definitely can’t do it in one Tesla charge either. You need to fill up and charge up in between. Treat your days the same way. After you accomplish a task, give yourself a few minutes to relax, watch a Youtube video, or speak to a friend. These moments will give your brain and body rest to re-energize and maintain focus on what is to come.
Slow and steady
It might be difficult in the beginning, but try getting into the habit of wholy completing your tasks. When we leave tasks unfinished, it allows our minds to still focus on them even when we aren’t engaging in them. So if the tasks take longer than expected, focus on completing it even if it’s over it’s hour. Soon, finishing tasks will become effortless undertakings.
Focusing on a Single Career Path
Being singularly focused is not only limited to daily life but can be effectuated to long term goals, like your career. We metioned in the Framework that for the system-bound professional track having a singular focus can be key and here is why:
You can treat your career as a singular task. When you learn new skills or accumulate more experience, circulate all the new knowledge back into your singular goal- your career. This will help you maintain a solid path to expertise in your field and the people you serve will appreciate your knowledge and attention to your craft.
Long Term Goals
Most importantly don’t forget to give priority to personal and fulfilling long-term goals. Even at a slow pace, when keeping a singular focus on your major goals by implementing weekly reminders, consistent and healthy breaks, and real endpoints you will see that the focus is real and success is imminent.