When it comes to being productive, we often fall into the trap of multitasking, believing that doing many tasks simultaneously will increase our productivity. However, this is a trap that can put you in a loop of never-ending exhaustion, mentally and emotionally. Now, let’s look at all the facts around us.
There’s no break that we can catch when it comes to productivity. Between social media, hustle culture, and non-existent work-life balance, we are constantly surrounded by distractions. So, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed in such a case? Now if you throw in multitasking, then nothing can prevent an eventual mental breakdown.
So, if you’re looking to focus on being productive, focus less on multitasking and more on monotasking.
Monotasking, while not a new term, is being popularized these days (and for good reason). When you’re multitasking, you can easily feel overwhelmed and find it hard to keep up with everything that happens around you. When this happens, you put yourself at risk of depression and anxiety.
When you engage in monotasking, you are not only practicing mindfulness (by focusing on the present task), but you’re also allowing yourself to practice much-needed self-care. By taking one task at a time, you can accomplish more in almost any situation – whether it be work, home, or hobbies.
In this blog, let’s explore what monotasking, how it can be good for your productivity and mental health, and how you can get started!
What Is Monotasking?
As the term itself suggests, monotasking is the act of focusing on one task at a time. It sounds pretty easy, right? Well, it’s harder than it sounds. Monotasking requires you to be very particular about time management. Because you need to focus on one thing at a time, you need to keep your tasks short and concrete.
This practice aims to achieve “deep work” – the ability to focus solely on a demanding task and without distractions for an extended period.
So, how can it help our productivity, and what’s the difference between monotasking and multitasking? Let’s see!
Benefits of Monotasking
Multitasking requires you to focus on different tasks simultaneously and instead of working on one thing at a time, you cycle between tasks. This can cause a lack of concentration and mental commitment. Multitasking can also increase your chance of making mistakes and forgetting important information.
Ever emailed the wrong person? Well, that’s the effect multitasking has on your mind.
The idea of monotasking is to be in a “flow state” where you focus on one task at a time without any distractions for a long period. Yes, this includes removing your cell phone from your vicinity, avoiding coworker interactions, and other such distractions.
When you remove these distractions, you rewire your brain to concentrate on the task at hand. This increases your productivity and attention to detail towards the said task.
The benefits of monotasking can include;
Lower stress levels: Since you’re focusing on one task at a time, the chances of feeling stressed are low.
Less overwhelmed: Focusing on one task at a time allows you to relax in real time and feel less overwhelmed.
Be present in the moment: Again, when you’re monotasking, you become more present in the moment – conversations, relationships, lunch meets etc.
More happiness: In turn, you feel more connected with others and increase your happiness levels.
Pay more attention: When you’re less distracted, you are better able to pay attention to your task and control your attention span as well.
Get more things done: Despite what you might believe, monotasking can help you get more things done. Yes, while it may take a little longer than needed, you achieve better results in the long run. So, it’s a win-win situation, right?
How to Start Monotasking?
Thinking of getting started with monotasking your daily tasks? These ways might help!
1. Deep Work
Instead of working in breaks, take aside at least 2–3 hours each day to focus on a task with no distractions near. This will help you feel less stressed about completing your tasks. Deep work practice may also help you increase your productivity and decrease your work stress.
2. Avoid Distractions
Monotasking reduces your stress but only when you avoid distractions. So, when you want to add monotasking to your daily life, it’s best to start by lessening your distractions such as muting phone notifications, limiting your social media time, and putting your work notifications on “do not disturb” (when in deep work). You can listen to white noise or instrumental music if you need some background noise.
3. Set Intentions
Nothing can work if it’s not done with an intention. So, if you want to try monotasking and want it to work, then you need to set an intention. For example, you can set an intention that you want to be productive in the next 2–3 hours. Maybe ask yourself, “what are the most important things I need to do today?” You can build your intention around such questions too.
4. Work According To Productive Times
Identify when, during the day, you’re most productive and work accordingly. Is it early morning when you’re most productive or is it right before noon sets in? Can you work to your full potential and enter deep work mode after lunch or during the evening? Once you know your productive times, you can set your monotasking around these times.
5. Set Priority Tasks
Instead of focusing on less important tasks, try to set your priority tasks and work on them first. You don’t need to look for more things, just the important ones. Monotasking is about the way you work, not how you work. So, try to engage in meaningful tasks when monotasking.
Multitasking is good when it allows you to complete more tasks at the same time but also gives you time to relax, however, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed when focusing on more than one task at a time, then maybe it’s time you give monotasking a try.
This art of monotasking might not be easy to grasp at first but with practice and patience, you can reap some amazing results and benefits from monotasking. Not only will your productivity increase, but your mental health will see an improvement.
I hope this article helped you understand monotasking and how it helps you. For more, you can write to us at email@example.com or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts on monotasking in the comments below.