Deal with One Thing at a Time

efficiency focus productivity Sep 09, 2022

Many of us feel pressured to do multiple things at once regarding working. We think we need to work on several projects at once to be productive. However, this isn't always the case. Trying to do too many things can lead to decreased productivity and less focus. This blog post will discuss the importance of dealing with one thing at a time and how doing so can help you accomplish your goals.

Why you should focus on a single task

Multitasking is pretty much a thing nowadays. As a result, many people are now accustomed to doing multiple tasks at once, such as using their cell phones while doing something else or juggling numerous jobs in their work. Furthermore, the proliferation of technology has also made it easier to multitask since our gadgets can simplify and handle things faster, allowing us to do something else while we use them.

Someone who knows how to multitask can look impressive. Being able to handle many things at once means that productivity is on a high level, right? Unfortunately, that may not be the case. To a certain degree, multitasking can work, but if you want 100% efficiency and productivity, you are better off focusing on one thing at a time: single-tasking, if you want to call it. This idea applies not only to work and responsibilities but also to dealing with problems. It's easier to get overwhelmed when you try to work on more than one thing at a time, and your stress levels will rise, leading to more problems later on, especially for your mental health. There are various reasons why you will want to focus on one thing at a time.

Productivity increases more. You become more productive when you work on only one thing instead of many. When you focus on one task, you give 100% on it, so chances are it will result in higher quality output. Multitasking divides your 100% into multiple fragmented portions depending on how many tasks you do. As a result, you can end up not finishing any job at all if your complete focus is not concentrated on one thing.

Less stress and anxiety. The advent of technology opened up many possibilities and opportunities for us, one of which is multitasking. However, it also paved the way for a new norm of getting busy by doing multiple things simultaneously. This kind of busyness can overload the brain and make you struggle by trying to work and finish many things at once. As a result, stress and anxiety levels can rise. However, you can make your life easier by doing only one thing at a time and moving to the next once you finish it.

More focus, fewer mistakes. Errors are more prone to happen when you keep on multitasking. The thing with multitasking is that you are not doing two or more things simultaneously. Instead, you are switching between different tasks at a constant pace, and when such a thing happens, your focus keeps on resetting whenever you change to begin a new job. Therefore, there is a greater chance of mistakes occurring when you are not focused on one thing.

How to do single-tasking

We can always choose to spend our time working on one task. However, it may be challenging to do this when your work culture encourages multitasking, and your boss and colleagues have fun piling different jobs on you. Still, if you have the option to work on one task, you should try doing it. It can help you stay focused and get more things done. In addition, several things can make it easier to focus on one task at a time.

1. Plan ahead

Before starting your day, you may already know what work and responsibilities you will have to do beforehand. Maybe your boss handed assignments several days before, or you are already familiar with your daily routine for your work and obligations. Therefore, making a to-do list and putting all the upcoming tasks you need to do will be handy. Plan how you are going to do each job and in what order. You can also prepare all the resources you need before the day of work to be ready and in good shape to do what's required.

2. Prioritize

Your to-do list serves another purpose: identifying which of your daily tasks are the most urgent. You don't need to multitask if you have good time management and prioritizing skills. Chances are that not all of your tasks need to be finished at the same time and date. Therefore, you can prioritize what needs to be completed, work on that one task, finish it, and then move to the next. If two or more tasks fall on the same deadline, do the job that has a more significant consequence on you should you fail, or better yet, if you received some of the tasks several days before, do them in advance, so you have more time to do the other jobs with the same deadline.

3. Minimize distractions

Distractions can be everywhere, and they are significant hindrances to productivity. It can be anything around your workspaces, such as your cell phone, piles of documents, shiny and colorful decorative objects, or that nonwork-related tab on your Internet browser. Our minds can be full of random thoughts, and things around us can catch our attention and divert us from what we must do. Therefore, it's best to clean up our work areas and remove anything that may trigger distractions, and don't contribute anything to our current task.

4. Take some rest

Our minds are not capable of focusing our 100% attention on something over an extended period. Eventually, your mind will get occupied with random thoughts, leading to procrastination and wasting time. Try to identify how long it takes before your mind starts to wander. It may be better to set a break period before your mind hits its limit. You can use this time to rest and energize to keep the momentum going and finish what you must do. You can also try doing something different when you start to feel bored with your current task but try not to get too engrossed in your icebreaker activity and return to the job that you must finish.

Work on one task, then on to the next.

Working hard doesn't equate to drowning yourself in multiple tasks. On the contrary, it can be better to be efficient and productive by focusing on a single job, and this is because you get to put all your energy and concentration into one thing, resulting in better output and quality of work. And it's not only in the workplace where we can apply the idea of single-tasking. In life, we can have many goals and experience several problems at a given time. Trying to tackle them all simultaneously can only fail. There is only so much we can do at a given moment, and we can make better progress if we single out a particular thing and give our undivided attention to it so it can get done before moving on to the next.

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