Start Single-Tasking To Get More Done

TL;DR: Do one thing at a time instead of trying to juggle tasks. It's more effective, productive, and better for your brain, making you feel less stressed while achieving more.

Start Single-Tasking To Get More Done

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Not too long ago, it was common for candidates in job interviews to proudly declare: "I'm a multitasker."

Things are very different now, and in the age of the "attention economy", when social media and devices pull our focus in every direction, multitasking is being seen - and scientifically shown - more and more as something negative, while single-tasking is starting to gain more followers.

Single-tasking is the practice of focusing on one task at a time and not switching to any other task until completion. You don't split your attention between tasks or jump from one activity to another.

The practice of single-tasking is backed by science: research studies have proved that such an approach allows us to work faster while also avoiding cognitive fatigue and making fewer mistakes in the process.

"A rich body of research in psychological science has documented that the behavioral costs of task switching are typically unavoidable: individuals almost always take longer to complete a task and do so with more errors when switching between tasks than when they stay with one task." (Madore, K. P., & Wagner, A. D. (2019). Multicosts of Multitasking. Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science, 2019.)

The quote above is from a fascinating article Madore and Wagner wrote together at Standford University. But you don't have to be a Ph.D. at a prestigious university to see the positive effects of single-tasking. Simply try it yourself.

Instead of multitasking, which can be distracting and inefficient, single-tasking can help you stay focused on a task and ignore any unnecessary distractions. It can increase efficiency and productivity by reducing the time spent switching back and forth between tasks. Single-tasking can even create a more organized work environment, free of unnecessary distractions and clutter.

Your grandmother always told you: "just do things one step at a time." Mindfulness gurus have been saying this for a long time: "focus on the present." They were right.

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