I’ve heard of multi-tasking, but what the heck is single tasking?
You may well be asking yourself what the heck single tasking is. I’d never really thought about it as a thing to actively focus on until recently, when it came up in a book on productivity. But it really is as simple as it sounds. You focus on one thing at a time. Just one.
In our fast-paced world that may seem like a great way to get behind on everything. But it’s something I’ve been reading more and more about lately, and have been practicing over the past couple of weeks. It’s been an interesting experiment.
Anyone who knows me is probably laughing right now. If there is anything I’m not very good at, it’s focusing on just one thing. My brain is like a 24/7 whack-a-mole game. There are always ideas and thoughts and actions popping up all over the place, usually simultaneously and in opposite directions.
And I get a lot done, so I wasn’t exactly panicking about my lack of ability to focus. BUT. Every now and then I get a little too comfortable flitting from task to task, and I never actually hit my stride on a single project or idea. That is okay for busy-work. But it’s not okay for creative work.
Over the next few months I’ve set some pretty interesting personal creative goals for myself in addition to what is going on in my already busy work life, and I know the only way to accomplish those is if I hone my focusing muscles.
And so, I’ve been experimenting with what happens when I focus on just one thing at a time. And guess what? It’s working. Really, really well. Granted, I’m only able to do it for little “sprints” of a couple hours at a time. But I’ve been scheduling accordingly and it seems to be getting easier with each day.
I’m enjoying seeing visible progress on whatever I was focusing on, it’s easier to keep track of where I am within the project I’m working on, and I’m not as tired at the end of the day. It takes a lot of brain power to jump around so much.
Obvious? Well, yes. But sometimes, we can’t see what’s right in front of our faces. Probably too many browser windows open 😛
My challenge for you today is to pay a little bit of attention to how often you’re actually focusing on just one thing, and try to do a little bit more of it this week.
You just never know what you might be able to accomplish…