In my previous post, I spoke about the benefits of single tasking over multi-tasking. After finding out the benefits of single tasking can help my day flow much easier, and that science is suggesting that single-tasking is better for your brain, I was totally excited and decided to set myself the challenge to practice single tasking as much as I could.
Practicing single tasking takes time, based on my experience it is definitely not something you can achieve overnight, especially if you are so prone to multi-tasking. However, I am taking small steps to achieve this. In week 3 of my challenge, I have already noticed a shift in my productivity, my thinking and the way I feel throughout the day. I have been able to get so much done by simply focusing and starting each task with intention. Moreover, I feel less stressed and more in command of my to-do-list.
While doing this challenge, I have noticed that here are some things I do where I subconsciously fall into the mode of multi-tasking, without even realising. For example, like wiping the sink benches while brushing my teeth, like checking my phone while eating my breakfast. So, when I started my single tasking challenge, these are some of the areas that I focused on.
As I start to reap benefits from it, I decided to share 10 simple things in my day to day that I do in my single tasking journey. I’ve also created a simple printable that you can download and use as a reminder to help you on your single tasking journey or challenge.
- Focus on brushing teeth without thinking of another thing, without trying to clean the bench, without trying to check your phone.
- Eat breakfast without reading a book or newspaper or checking your phone.
- Read a book without your phone in the same room and without the TV on.
- Watch a movie from start to finish without any distractions like scrolling on social media.
- Allocate time to tasks you would like to accomplish and only focus on that task (one task at a time). For example, set a timer to engage with your community on Instagram and only focus on that until the timer runs out. This will help keep you from endless scrolling and be more productive at what you set out to achieve from the start. I found a helpful method to time manage our task is by using the Pomodoro method. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro. I find that it works really well to help me focus.
- Pay full attention with the people you speak to, focus and listen to what they have to say as this are the keys to excellent communication skills. Don’t think about what you need to say next, don’t look at your phone but carefully listen to the person and communicate back when it is your turn.
- Have only one browser window open at a time when you are on the internet. I always find I have too many windows open! In addition to that, always close windows, programs, and emails once you’ve finished using them. When there are too many open, it just becomes messy.
- Try NOT responding to emails right away. When I receive emails, I sometimes get excited and want to respond to the emails right away but what I find is that by responding to the emails right away, I am unconsciously letting other people set my priorities instead of setting them myself. So instead, I set aside time each day for my inboxes to respond and read newsletters. It is seriously more productive, and you feel better as well that you have control on things.
- No phone 1 hour after waking up, and 30 mins before bedtime. Speaking of digital, I practiced not using my phone for the first hour after waking up and no phone usage 30 minutes before bedtime except for setting my alarm. I really like this simple rule because after the second week, I felt that I don’t have to remind myself, I naturally not want to use my phone. It feels somewhat liberating and less stressful. One simple way to do this is leave the phone in the room or put it on charge in another room.
- Set aside time to focus on cleaning. One of the unavoidable things in my daily life is cleaning. As you can imagine with two children at home and being at home, I often see something that needs cleaning. Instead, I decided to allocate one day of the week to do the big cleaning. Of course, for the little cleaning like wiping the dinner table after our meals, that is something that is a daily routine. I am talking about big items like cleaning the carpet, mopping the floor, washing the sheets, cleaning the hobs, cleaning the oven etc. So instead of feeling like I have to clean every day, setting aside time focusing only on cleaning results in being productive and made me feel good overall.
I am certainly enjoying the single tasking challenge. It was especially nice to be able to focus on one thing at a time and complete it with great quality. It was also nice to reduce my time on the phone and focus on being in the moment – whether that was with my husband, really listening to what my children were saying, the smell of our meals and even the details in the TV I watched. Even though it is easy to get stuck in the everyday rush, I think if we take a step back and slow down for a moment, we will be able to stay focused and practice single tasking.
Here is a downloadable printable for you to use as a reminder to start single tasking. Just print it out and put it on your fridge and start the challenge as a steppingstone. Over time, I am sure you will be able to single task on your own without these reminders.
Overall, this challenge has helped my days flow better and it is one of the best things I’ve done for myself as part of my slow living journey. It is definitely something I will continue to do. How about you? Will you give single tasking a try too? Let me know in the comments below.
Pin for later: