Increase Efficiency: Move From Multi-Tasking to Single-Tasking

May 21, 2024

Are you a multi-tasker?

If so, you might be surprised to learn that focusing your energy on one task at a time can be more effective.

In our fast-paced society, multitasking is often seen as a badge of honor. We brag about juggling multiple projects simultaneously, but this approach has significant downsides.

Multitasking increases the likelihood of mistakes and missing important information. It's not surprising that spreading your attention thin reduces the quality of your work.

By disciplining yourself to focus fully on one task at a time, you can enhance creativity, reduce errors, and complete tasks faster.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple projects. For example, over these past few days I’ve been building out a new 30 Day challenge for our team, updating a training curriculum, working on an upcoming event, and writing this email, among many other things. However, I focused on each task individually, giving it my full attention for a set period.

Consider this: if you divide your attention among seven projects simultaneously, how far will you get on each?

Instead, if you choose one project and focus on it entirely, you’ll make significant progress, possibly even completing it. This focused approach leads to a sense of accomplishment rather than frustration at the end of the day.

To help you prioritize effectively, Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" offers a helpful time management framework. He suggests categorizing tasks into four areas:

  • Urgent & Important
  • Not Urgent & Important
  •  Urgent & Not Important
  • Not Urgent & Not Important

Your priority should be "Urgent & Important" tasks. Resist placing "Urgent & Not Important" tasks ahead of "Not Urgent & Important" ones. Focus on important tasks before they become urgent, rather than being busy with unimportant urgent tasks.

Try this approach next week. Make a to-do list on Sunday night or Monday morning, categorize your tasks, and focus on them one at a time. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how much you accomplish by the end of the week.

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Was this helpful? Have a suggestion for future content? I’d love to hear from you. Will you please consider reaching out by way of email, or even better, one of my favorite messaging platforms… Facebook Messenger or Instagram Messenger, letting me know how this may have impacted you and sharing any suggestions you may have for future topics that you’d like me to share on?
With Much Appreciation, Allan