June 8

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3 Fascinating Ways Single-Tasking Is Better Than Multitasking

By Alison

June 8, 2021

tools

Single-tasking is better than multitasking because contrary to popular belief we

  • Get more done
  • Feel less stressed
  • Have more control

We feel confident when we can charge through our action list and get things done.  Unfortunately, a common mistake is thinking we need to do multiple things simultaneously.

But juggling so many tasks is not only tiring, it’s really stressful.

How often do you find yourself:

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  • scrolling through your email
  • making a phone call
  • answering a question from a colleague

The result is that none of the above tasks is completed successfully.  And could lead to mistakes or come back to bite you in the bum.

But, if you adjust and focus on just one thing, you will discover that single-tasking is better than multitasking.  For a start, you’ll have more control over what you do rather than be at the mercy of someone else’s agenda.

3 Fascinating Ways Single-Tasking Is Better Than Multitasking

Single-tasking has three enormous benefits over multitasking, which are as follows:

  • Leads to greater success
  • Teaches you how to focus
  • Makes you more intelligent
Single-tasking is better than multitasking as you see more success

Enjoy the success of being able to properly complete things

Single-Tasking Leads to Success

Here’s a truth bomb. Humans are not designed for multitasking.  What feels like multitasking is our brain switching from one task to the next as quickly as possible.  The brain cannot run more than one cognitive function at a time.

According to psychologist Gerald Weinberg, switching tasks eats up 20% – 80% of your productivity. 

Wow, that is a big dent in your ability to be productive. We attempt so much yet achieve so little.  As Gary Keller wrote in his best selling book The One Thing when you “attend to all things, everything gets short changed, and nothing gets its due”.

But when you focus on one thing at a time, you can achieve success because you see things through to completion.  And when you start to complete what you need to do, there is a domino effect for greater success.

Keller’s book was a real eye-opener for me.  You can read my review of his book here.

Further evidence is provided by a Stanford study which showed that multitaskers were found to consistently underperform single-taskers.  Because they were too easily distracted and had difficulty filtering out what wasn’t relevant.

All this means, if you can just sit back and do one thing at a time, your brain will thrive and chug through the task, no problem. Instant success!

Single-tasking is better than multitasking, and your success at work will prove this.

Focus is key to single-tasking

keep your eye on ONE task at a time

You Learn How to Focus

Multitasking means that your attention is split between different tasks – which is overwhelming and stressful.

When you single-task, you spend all your energy and attention in one place, leaving you feeling much calmer.

Mastering the technique of total focus is challenging, but with practice can be achieved.  You’ll be amazed at what you can get done.

When you learn how to focus, you realise how single-tasking is better than multitasking.

The first objective is to remove anything that distracts you from the task at hand and then concentrate on one thing at a time.

You can start by building up your level of focus with short bursts of productivity.  The Pomodoro effect is excellent for this.  To learn more about the technique, have a read of 12 Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique

When I first started out looking at my efficiency, the Pomodoro effect really helped.  Setting the timer for 25 minutes was a struggle at first, but over time it got easier.  Since then, I’ve moved to 90 minutes of deep focus work.  I’m getting more done now than I ever have.

Imagine what you could achieve if you put some serious focus on that big goal you’ve been wanting to accomplish.

IQ increases so single-tasking is better than multitasking

Single-Tasking also improves your emotional intelligence as you focus more

Your IQ Goes Up

The big myth about multitasking can be finally put to bed when you look at IQ.

Traditionally multitasking was proclaimed as an efficient way to work.  A study by the University of London has disproved this. 

Their study discovered that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced an IQ score decline similar to those who have stayed up all night.

Some of the multitasking men had their IQ drop 15 points, leaving them with the average IQ of an 8-year-old child.

When you multitask, you open yourself up to making more mistakes; yikes!  Mistakes erode not only your confidence and affect your efficiency but also creates extra work.  Not something you want to entertain when you are already busy, and feeling overwhelmed.

Single-Tasking Is Better Than Multitasking

Hopefully, you’re now convinced of the benefits of single-tasking.  If you want to become more efficient at work (and in life generally), then this is the way forward.

Don’t be frustrated if your focus isn’t as good as you’d like initially. This will improve with practice. Once you master this one skill, though, your world will change.

The amount of work you can get done in a day will astonish you. All this from one very simple fix.

About the author

Life is complicated. We get caught up in the should, need and must do's. I know I did. For many years I lived a life where I was more concerned about pleasing others and keeping up appearances. Until I became ill. I'm on a mission to help women overcome their issues of self-doubt, build their confidence and shine at work. After 30 years as a senior HR Manager, Trainer and coach I want to share what I've learnt. I believe you already have confidence within you. It's time for you to shine. I know you can be successful without the stress. Let me show you how.

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