How To Stay Focused On One Task At A Time To Thrive

How To Stay Focused On One Task At A Time How To Stay Focused On One Task At A Time 2

Multitasking hinders our productivity. The more we attempt to do more than one thing at a time, the more we make mistakes and slow ourselves down. In consequence, we accomplish less inefficiently. Sequel to, the resulting reworking further slows us down. For this reason, attempting to have a phone conversation while you are reading a document spotlights unproductive. Supporting this notion, Rene Marois, director of the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University, discovered that people doing two tasks simultaneously, took up to 30 percent longer and made twice as many errors as those who completed the same tasks in sequence.1 The findings confronting us, how to stay focused on one task at a time, headlines important.

How To Stay Focused On One Task At A Time, Spotlights

1. Group Together Similar Tasks

Batching or grouping similar tasks together helps you to spend less time and energy, switching between different types of activities. With this approach, you minimise stress and lighten your daily workload. As a result, you get out a better quality work.

Proceeding with, create some standard zones in your day’s schedule. Dedicate at least one chunk of time to think about the trickiest or most demanding tasks of your day. Here features some helpful groupings to try. Intensive thinking and creative pursuits. Reading and researching. Meetings. Answering emails. Private projects. Administrative engagements. From dedicating time to the various zones of task, you get to focus better on the individual tasks, and reap the benefits of singletasking throughout your day. Expounding with, allocate your biggest and best chunk of time to tasks requiring deeper thinking and more time to get into. As well, experiment with what times of the day that suit different categories of work. In this regard, it pays to know yourself and arrange your schedule accordingly.

2. Remove Temptations

Devices clamouring for our attention, from the buzzing and chiming of our smartphones to the visual pop-ups on our computer screens, these notifications coming in all day long, keep us from making the best use of our time. Truth to, processing each ping takes away from our brain’s working memory, whether we respond to it or not. To focus better and become more productive, turn the notifications off. For the same effect, work on a computer without Internet connection, or install an app that can block your access to certain websites for designated periods of time. With these, you eliminate the temptation to veer off into multitasking. Also, you put down roots into the notions behind how to stay focused on one task at a time.

3. Store Stray Sparks Of Inspiration Or Thoughts Instead Of Using Up Mental Space, To Hold On To Them

Oftentimes, other thoughts pop into our minds as we do our best to focus on the task at hand. Instead of holding on to these stray valuable thoughts and using up your mental energy to explore them, record them immediately. In this, do a voice memo or write them down on a sticky note. Getting into this habit, reassures you that you can always come back to the idea when the time is right.

4. Start With Few Minutes Of Undistracted Time

It can feel hard at first, to focus your attention on one thing at a time, since most of us are not used to the idea. If this scenario matches your circumstances, it may be constructive for you to start with just five minutes of undistracted time or any other comfortable short duration of time. Forward from, acknowledge your accomplishments. Celebrate them. A good way of doing this, is to keep a record of the total amount of time you spent offline for the day. This reward is important because it can compete with the minor thrill our brains get from the constant stimulation of being online. In due time, gradually extend the duration of your focused sessions until you are able to concentrate for lengthened periods without feeling Impatient.

5. Time Yourself

The initiative to decide how long you want to spend properly focused on an important task, gives you a physical point of focus. From this, a sense of mission that fosters greater focus arises since the step reminds you that the task will not last forever. Again, it starts you experiencing a rush of satisfaction as the timer counts down that number of minutes and runs down to zero.

6. Talk About How You Schedule Your Day, With Colleagues, To Keep From Caving In To Multitasking

Explicitly explaining how you schedule your day and the wisdom of singletasking, often reduces stress on both sides.

How The Wisdom Of Singletasking Saved Lori

To illustrate with, under pressure from her boss, Lori was tempted to cave in and set a customised alert on her phone that would beep only when her boss called. On a second thought, she decided to explain how she was scheduling her day and the wisdom of singletasking. How she checked her email in four or five batches each day. Persuaded, her boss helped her to work out an arrangement where Lori’s assistant would reach her if he really needed her. The short explicit discussion made a big difference to both of them, and toned down stress that hampers productivity.

Conclusion

How to stay focused on one task at a time, revolves around ideas that keep us from the perils of multitasking. Scheduling your day, batching your tasks, keeping away from temptations, and sharing the wisdom of singletasking, allow you to work at your best. As a result, you get more done.

Note

1. Dux, P.E., Ivanoff, J., Asplund, C.L., & Marois, R. (2006). Isolation of a central bottleneck of information processing with time-resolved fMRI. Neuron, 52(6), 1109–1120. Cited by Webb, Caroline. 2016. “How To Have A Good Day.” (New York: Crown Business), 81.

11 Comments

  • This is an awesome post. It is so hard to stay focused, especially if you’re like me and you work at home. Home is the land of distractions!

  • Those are all good ideas to keep you focused on one task. Removing distractions is huge! Which for me can be tough at times, working at home full time, especially with 4, 6-week old kittens running around. haha

  • I always have this advice when I was finishing my master’s degree. If one can’t focused on getting things done, he never arrives at something. One thing that I remind myself all the time is to never stop creating self-made deadline. IT REALLY WORKS!

  • This is a very relatable post. I have only recently come to the realisation that it is not necessary to always FEEL like you are doing something productive. You do not need to have a podcast playing in the background when you are doing spreadsheets for example. Sometimes simplicity is key to a healthy mind.

  • Working on 1 task at a time is huge for productivity, multi-tasking just doesn’t work in most situations. Thank you for these encouraging words.

  • These are great advice to stay focus on any tasks that we are going to do. Me, I am trying to avoid any distractions by not checking my social medias updates and etc. Thank you for this, I really appreciate it.

  • These are great tips. I’m not good at multitasking and definitely have problems with focusing. Removing temptations is a really great advice. Thnaks!

  • Oh the biggest thing for me is putting away all the distractions, which is usually the phone, haha. Or anything when I don’t want to complete a task. Thanks for the tips!

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