Do you ever get interrupted and forget what you were working on or lose your train of thought? Well, you’re not the only one. In an age where we spend the majority of our time in front of a computer or device (and in lots of cases, many devices), it’s easy to get distracted and lose all focus. We live in a world where being able to multitask is a sought after skill. While being able to multitask is great, it’s often the case that the tasks at hand don’t receive the full focus necessary to complete them well.
Multitasking is like being a jack of all trade but a master of none. It definitely has it’s place in our lives but true focus on a single item at a time is fading from our everyday lives as we are increasingly distracted by the fast pace at which new information is presented. Monotasking is important because it allows to to fully focus on what we are working on and making sure it is completed.
You’re probably wondering, “What is monotasking?”
Monotasking also known as single-tasking, is the practice of dedicating oneself to a given task and minimizing potential interruptions until the task is completed or a significant period of time has elapsed.
For monotasking to work, the rule of thumb is to complete tasks sequentially, working through the items at hand one-by-one not moving to the next one until sufficient time has passed or the task is completed. Your brain was wired for deep and innovative thinking, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re trying to make it go in two or more directions at once.
Three tips for monotasking are:
- Give your brain some down time.
Get some fresh air, for example, or just look out the window. Taking a break will help make room for your next inspired idea because a halt in constant thinking slows the mind’s rhythms to allow more innovative “aha” moments.
- Focus deeply, without distraction.
Silence your phone, turn off your email and try to perform just one task at a time.
- Make a to-do list.
Then identify your top two priorities for the day and make sure they are accomplished above all else.
It’s also important to remember that monotasking should be utilized outside of work, as it will help you in all aspects of your life.
Switching from multitasking to monotasking seems like a big undertaking. Jo Chunyan, Intuition Coach & Graphic Designer, has created a useful like of 13 reminders for single-tasking. Try using some of these reminders to streamline your day. Then see how monotasking affects your mood, creativity, and ability to focus.