The Concern of Multi-tasking
We all like to claim we are great multitaskers. Focusing on two or more tasks at once makes us appear quicker, smarter, and overall masterful. But are we really multitasking the way we claim to be? Not really and here’s why.
When we multitask, we are actually switching our focus between different tasks. So, if you are working on developing code and then pick up your phone to answer a colleague’s email you have taken your full attention off your code completely. Research has shown 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 we should start being proud practicers of being singularly focused. Singularly focused means exerting all your efforts on one task at a time and completing it to the end before beginning another one. This may seem hard to do within a lifestyle full of distractions but here are some tips to achieve it.
Make everything a task
We all have many things to do, but if you start each day prioritizing what needs to be done and dividing them into singular tasks or events you will see your productivity increase. Use applications like Google Calendar, Slack, or other management tracking platforms to remind you of when you chose to do what. And, make everything a ‘task’, even checking emails and text messages. Very often, I find that answering one email notification can lead to many hours of email.
Breaks help you fuel up
You can’t drive a car from __ to __ in one tank of gas. You need to fill up. Practice the same with your day. 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 a rest to reenergize 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 completing tasks. When we leave tasks unfinished, it allows our minds to still focus on them even when we aren’t engaging in them. Even if the tasks take longer than expected, focus on their completion and you’ll see that finishing tasks will become more effortless.
Focusing on a Single Career Path
Being singularly focused is not only limited to daily life but can be effectuated to long term pathways and goals, like your career. It is good to accumulate many experiences but consistently circulates those skills back into your career path. This will help you maintain a solid road to expertise in your field and the people you serve will appreciate your knowledge and attention to your craft.
Long Term Goals
And 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.