Forget multitasking, try monotasking

Perhaps this schedule sounds familiar to you:

6:30 a.m. Wake up and check social media pages for what happened while I was sleeping (did not miss anything), feed the baby and get him dressed for the day.
7:00 a.m. Shower and get ready for work.
7:15 a.m. Prepare baby’s daycare bag, feed pets, make coffee and grab breakfast to go.
8:00 a.m. Arrive to work, read emails in inbox and respond to half.
8:30 am. Check voicemail messages and write them down to return later, a text message comes in that another shoe was destroyed by the dog.
9:00 a.m. Work on unfinished tasks from the previous day, open up Word document to start a new project.
9:10 a.m. An email comes in and pulls my attention away and I chose to respond quickly, alert on my cell phone goes off to say someone requested a meeting with me.
9:30 a.m. Return back to projects to have my office phone ring for a “quick question”.
10:00 a.m. Meeting with another staff member about an upcoming project.
10:30 a.m. Return back to my office and rack my brain trying to remember why I have an empty Word document opened up.
11:00 a.m. Respond to an URGENT email.
11:15 a.m. Finish sending email responses from this morning and read new emails.
11:45 a.m. Attempt to pick up on projects started yesterday.
12:00 p.m. LUNCH. Thank goodness…

And that is just my morning. Nothing completed or checked off my to-do list. Attention being pulled a billion ways and trying to maintain the balance. That is multi-tasking. But is that efficient? In today’s world, we are asking our brains to switch gears quite often. We stay in a constant state of “busyness” but can we be in a constant state of productivity when we are multi-tasking. My brain switched 24 gears in a 5 hour time span and yet one thing was marked off my list which was to respond to emails from the weekend but that task will never stay completed for long.

There is a better way to balance staying busy and being productive but it forces you to get rid of distractions. It’s called mono-tasking. It is the exact opposite of multi-tasking and it forces us to focus solely on one task at a time without interruptions.

I amaze myself every single time how much I can get done when I put all my effort into ONE thing and ONE thing only. My brain appreciates being able to focus on the one thing for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, jump back in for another 25 minutes. Feeling productive instead of feeling busy is an amazing feeling.

So why is mono-tasking important? Watch this Ted Talk to learn the answer.


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