One of the most used terms regarding productivity is the term “multi-tasking”. We’ve been led to believe that in order to be productive, we must be working on several different things at once. However, if you want to finish what you start and feel a sense of accomplishment each day, a single focus is a much better way of working through your day.
With a single focus, you’ll still accomplish many things in a day, but you work on them one at a time. When you begin a task, you will take it to completion, whether that be to completion of the project or just completion of the portion that needs to be finished today. Rather than bouncing around from project to project, try giving one work item all your energy for an allotted period of time. This approach has several benefits.
1. You’ll have better attention to details. When we bounce from project to project, it’s easy to miss details in what we need to absorb about the work at hand. It’s also easy to get distracted and not realize you’ve missed completing a portion of a task.
2. You’ll get through work faster. When you are singly focused on a project, you are likely to find that you get through the work more quickly than if you bounce around. Every time you get distracted by something else and move away from the project, you have to get back on track when you return, which eats us valuable time.
3. You’ll feel more organized. When you constantly move from project to project, it’s easy to end the day not knowing if you really accomplished anything. When you work singly on a project until you get to a good stopping point or until you’ve completed what needs to be done, you have a better handle on what work is complete as well as what still lies ahead.
Single focus comes more easily to some of us than others. If you find that you are naturally distracted and want to move from project to project work on creating a system that helps you to stay disciplined. Many people find that they bounce around because they want to go work on something they think about before they forget it. If this sounds like you, try keeping a “to do” list. When you think of something that needs to be done, write it down so you don’t forget it, but don’t let it distract you from your current task. Your mind will be at ease knowing you won’t forget anything, allowing you an even better focus on the task at hand.