Have you ever burnt your toast while answering emails and talking to clients on the phone at the same time? Well, that makes the 2 of us! In this article, I’m going to talk about my experience trying out something called ‘monotasking’, AKA the opposite of multitasking. I tried this out for a month and saw my productivity soar.
Monotasking vs. Multitasking
The idea behind monotasking is that you do one thing at a time with your full attention and without any disruptions. In contrast, multitasking is when you do several tasks at the same time, like checking text messages and simultaneously trying to complete your work.
For the past few months, I was the only person in my team, which means I was bombarded with work, and the workload was a challenge. (Note: I have two great, new editorial colleagues now and it’s much better!). At the time, I was trying to manage all my work, meetings, answer emails, and maintain my work-life balance, all at once. But I must be honest, it was hectic. With the tight deadlines and work piling up as high as Mount Everest, there were many days that I was cramming 3 tasks all at once and trying my best to get it done on schedule. And the result?
I would be a superhuman if it was all completed with quality.
I realized that I couldn’t multitask anymore, what with the constant anxiety, unsatisfactory quality of work, and no time to spend on myself, I felt like I was getting closer to having a panic attack. Therefore, I decided to experiment on a new life hack that I came across on the internet called “Monotasking” for a month to observe my working ability and mental health.
The result was way better than I expected; I was able to complete all my tasks on time, of course, with quality; my attention span was longer than it was before; and overall, I was feeling so much better than ever, as if I was a completely new person when working. That’s why I’m sharing 6 reasons why you will get more done with monotasking:
- Increases productivity
Focusing on one task at a time prevents your brain from splitting its efforts to perform the different tasks all at once. According to the American Psychological Association, research proves that constantly switching between tasks can reduce your productivity level by 40%.
- Conserves your energy
Multitasking can drain so much of your energy. When you are dividing your attention from one task to another, your brain works harder as it needs to take time to process various bits of information all at once. However, when we push our brains to focus and dedicate ourselves to one specific task, we can complete the task much faster without any interruptions.
- Quality work
In this age of digital distractions, we often get distracted by many things around us. We then procrastinate and find it challenging to resume our tasks. Monotasking allows you to focus on your capacity to work intensely to achieve your best outcomes. As a result, you may gain much more confidence and recognition from your colleagues. This makes it a win-win method for both overall productivity and performance!
- Teaches you the ability to prioritize
Since our brains are only meant to focus on one task at a time, we need to prioritize our tasks and have time to become more effective, ranging from the most crucial task to the least important and depending on how tight the deadline is. Once we have been practicing and repeating this process for a while, we will notice the patterns when we are most productive. Then we can optimize our schedule to manage our productivity levels.
- Eradicates distractions
When we perform multiple tasks, our focus tends to be scattered all over the place, making it very easy for us to get distracted from the task we are currently doing. Also, the ongoing distractions usually limit our output and decrease our productivity levels. Monotasking will eliminate any external or internal processes that may provide distractions.
- Reduces anxiety
When we flood ourselves with countless tasks all at once, we obtain the feeling of anxiety, which may lead to several symptoms such as panic attacks or stress. However, when we decide to stop multitasking, we will automatically lessen the stress that we have been encountering, which will help to strengthen both our physical and mental wellbeing. Also, it will allow us to enjoy our typical workday as well!