The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks in to small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.
Single-tasking is the art of doing just that – one thing at a time.
In a world where multi-tasking and productivity, busyness and instant gratification are becoming the norm, we are now expected to do 10 things at once.
And as a Mum I often do.
Help the kids with homework while I cook dinner, edit photos in between checking my Facebook feed and reading blog posts, hang washing while I cradle the phone on one shoulder and talk to a friend about her crap day.
But more often than not, if I get distracted and start doing something else while I’m putting on a load of washing, chances are I’ll forget to press the go button.
And every so often the wheels really fall off…
…when doing something, just do it. When driving, just drive; when eating, just eat; when working, just work.
How do you single task?
1. Keep your to-do list short – only a few tasks each day, your Most Important Tasks.
2. Turn off all other distractions – email, Facebook, Twitter, computer, mobile.
3. Do one thing at a time. Focus on that task until it is finished.
4. If other things to do pop in to your brain, write them down and get them on paper, but don’t act on them.
5. Don’t forget to get up, move around, re-hydrate and stretch.
The benefits to single tasking?
1. You can fully concentrate and focus on the task at hand.
2. You’re less prone to make a mistake.
3. The task will get done quicker as you’re not doing anything else.
4. You’ll find you will lose yourself in tasks that bring you joy and happiness.
Do one thing and do it well.
It’s going to take practice. Especially if you’ve convinced yourself that multi-tasking is the way to do go. But I can guarantee that at the end of the day, when you see all those Most Important Tasks crossed off your list, you’ll thank yourself for giving it a go.
And even though I said to turn off all distractions, here are some great online apps (for those of you who can’t bear to turn off the computer!) to help you with your single-tasking – singletask.org and nowdothis.com
Now go single-task! And let me know in comments how it goes.