Are you a chronic multi-tasker?
I used to fall into that trap – especially when I worked in Corporate.
Every job description I applied for had ‘must be able to multi-task’ on it.
It took me a long time to realise that juggling multiple tasks at a time doesn’t help you get more done.
Sure, it feels very productive to work on multiple things, jumping back and forth and making progress on all of them.
You don’t get nearly as much done as you think.
Instead, focusing on one task at a time is the way to go.
There’s plenty of research out there to support this idea, but the best way to prove it to yourself is to test it for yourself.
However, the goal of this blog post isn’t to help you increase your productivity.
Instead, I want to share an interesting little side effect of focusing on one task at a time with you.
This approach also helps you cut down on the stress you’re under.
Here’s how and why it works.
When you work on one task at a time, you don’t have to worry about everything else.
You don’t have to keep multiple tabs going in your mind.
You don’t have to deal with all the clutter, distraction, and noise multitasking brings with it.
You can stop worrying about everything you’re trying to do at once.
Instead, give your undivided attention to the one task you’ve set yourself.
It’s freeing and calming.
It gives you focus, attention, and plenty of mental or physical energy to see it through to the end.
Could this reduce the amount of stress you’re under?
Even when you are done, the benefits of your stress levels don’t stop there.
Think about the mental list you have in your head right now of everything you’re working on or should be working on.
If it’s anything like mine, it’s pretty long, and you tend to add more items to it than you check off.
When you focus on one task at a time, you get done with it quickly, and best of all, you can check it off.
You don’t have to keep tabs on it anymore.
Instead, you move on to the next item, and the next, and the next.
Before you know it, you’ve made some serious progress and closed quite a few mental tables.
Think of it as your own mental browser.
It performs better, and you’re under less stress when you’re able to close those tabs down. Not to mention it helps your laptop work more efficiently.
This helps you reduce your overall stress load.
Since you’re focused on one task at a time and starting to finish up more things, you’re also less likely to fall down the rabbit hole.
You don’t get distracted and most importantly, you don’t end up adding more and more tabs or tasks as you go along.
Instead, you add them gradually as needed while you’re focusing on your main task for the day.
Try it and see if you can’t outsmart stress by giving up on multitasking.