Stay Calm at Work by Focusing on One Project at a Time

Updated: Jun 16

Everywhere you look, people are rushing around with a lot to do and only 24 hours in the day to get it done. If you’re like most people, you've probably tried multi-tasking in order to get more accomplished. Unfortunately, multi-tasking is usually not as effective as you might expect. The truth is, multi-tasking is terrible for your productivity. Your brain isn't built to process so many activities at one time. If you can focus on one thing at a time, you’ll accomplish more with greater mindfulness and calm energy. Staying on task and being efficient is especially important on the job. Keep reading to discover why you'll experience less stress at work by focusing on one project at a time.


About Single-Tasking

Single-tasking is the opposite of multi-tasking. It involves focusing on just one activity and seeing it through until completion before starting something else. Allowing your brain to work through just one thing at a time leads to increased brain function, which leads to faster and more efficient processing. This demonstrates how single-tasking is far more efficient than trying to double up on your duties. The only time it is possible to do more than one thing at a time is when all activities are relatively simple and require little cognitive effort. Things that come naturally to you or that can seemingly be performed on autopilot are fine for multitasking. However, combining tasks that require great thought or a lot of brain power will likely only lead to problems.


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Benefits of Doing One Thing at a Time

Single-tasking eliminates the need for your brain to switch gears constantly, therefore making performance more efficient. You're also less likely to make careless errors, which improves your overall performance or product. Once you become accustomed to single-tasking, you'll feel liberated and in more control of your time. Being able to zone in on single-tasking will eliminate the need to check your phone with every alert you hear. You'll no longer feel beholden to the pressure to be on alert all the time or to get as much done in as little time as possible. You’ll be able to concentrate better and won't feel nearly as stressed once you learn to give up multi-tasking.


How to Get Started

Start by prioritizing your tasks from most to least important. Then, choose the most important and get started. Eliminate background distractions by closing excess computer tabs or turning off social media and email notifications so you can stay zeroed in. When you've finished the first task, move on to the next and follow the same process. If you need some reinforcement, there are productivity apps that can restrict tempting sites like Facebook or Instagram for increments of time, forcing you to pay attention to your work. Practice seeing things through. For example, finish reading an entire article before getting up to talk to a co-worker about an upcoming deadline. Finally, be sure you have a comfortable workspace with everything you need close at hand (and uncluttered). This will eliminate the temptation to take multiple trips to the kitchen for snacks or to sneak out to stretch your legs.


Learning to give up multi-tasking will take practice, but I assure you it's worth it. You'll get more done and make fewer errors. Perhaps most important of all, you’ll begin to feel much calmer.


Blessings & Love,

Jen #thankfulheartscoaching






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