The idea of doubling productivity by doing multiple things at once is quite appealing for busy people, and these days most of us are busy people. Juggling numerous tasks simultaneously is seen as the answer to getting lots done.
Single-tasking is the opposite of multitasking. You may not have heard it phrased like this before, but you will have no doubt experienced the satisfaction of focusing solely on one task until completion, before moving onto another.
Compared with multi-tasking, research has found that single-tasking results in higher quality work in less time. That's because out brain isn't wasting power switching between tasks. It takes time for your mind to adjust each time you switch your focus, and this will drain you of time and energy.
'I don't have the luxury of single-tasking,' some of you may be thinking. But the truth is, if you have the time to multitask, you have the time to single-task as single-tasking takes less time! Try implementing a daily planner to increase the number of tasks carried out in single-task mode.
Using a daily planner
Finding a planner that works for you can be a game-changer. Whether you go for a vertical layout, a hourly layout or a dashboard layout, the concept remains the same: designating tasks from a main to-do list to a specific time/day in your 2022 diary. By physically laying out all your jobs, you can visually see that there is time available to do everything, which could be the source of calm you need to kick the multi-tasking habit.
With all your tasks assigned to a day, you have the clarity to focus on one job at a time, and experience the joy of single-tasking. As you complete each task, you may choose to tick off your tasks, cross them out or highlight them with a highlighter pen. As research indicated, you'll probably find yourself doing better work, in less time.
To truly trust your weekly plan, it's important to keep your days realistic. After all, if you find yourself with three unfinished jobs at the end of the day, you may panic and slip back into your multitasking ways. Ticking off all your tasks will give you much greater day satisfaction, than feeling disappointed that you didn't complete them all. It's better to find yourself with time to spare at the end of the day.
Keeping your week realistic might mean pushing a few jobs from your main to-do list into the week ahead, as you fill out you 2022 diary at the start of the week. Not everything will need to be done this week. Similarly, you could evaluate whether a job is worth doing at all, or if you could remove it from the to-do list all together.
Check out the range of Smooze productivity planners available, to help you to practise single-tasking in your own life. Available in a range of layouts, you're sure to find a daily planner that works for you!