Multitasking can feel like a superpower. When our schedules are packed and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, multitasking seems like the only logical way to squeeze everything in. However, what can result is a lower quality end product, not to mention extra exhaustion for us, the multitaskers. We might be too afraid to hone in on one thing when we have so many balls up in the air. We’re scared they’ll all drop and we’ll fail if we don’t keep working our juggling sorcery. But what happens when we shift our focus to a single task is actually where the magic happens. Ok, maybe not magic, but the benefits are pretty great! See for yourself!
If productivity is measured by the amount we get done in a given time, then we could end this blog post right here. However, productivity is also about the effort put into what it is you’re working towards. That’s why when we put work into one task at a time, we can actually end up being more productive than when we’re doing twenty or even just two. With the quality of our work increasing, we’re more apt to feel more accomplished and satisfied with the end product.
If our effort is focused then we end up making less mistakes. That, or we take the time to fix the ones we do make. When we give something our full attention instead of rushing through it, we catch things we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. When our eyes are darting from one screen to another or tending to yet another notification that pops up, we subject ourselves to opportunities for more error.
Engaging in single-tasking is essentially a mindfulness practice. It is a grounding exercise that opens up the chance for you to be more intentional with the work that you do. When we direct our attention to a single action and set our other responsibilities to the side, we create a space that allows for more creativity, deep thinking, connection, and meaning. So, maybe this is the superpower???
Perhaps multitasking is not the only way to tackle our to-do lists, and even if we check off things more quickly, we do a half ass job on each. If you’re prone to multitasking, try extending your time on one task incrementally. Start with five minutes, then double it and double it again. Keep track of what that time is like for you and at the end of each day, write down what it was like for you to fend off the other tasks.
Catherine at Revive