Monotasking Mantras

monotaskIf you are pressed for time here is the gist of this blog post:

  • Do one thing at a time. Complete it with presence. You will feel better and actually accomplish more.

If you have a couple minutes to spare, consider reading the entire post:

Scientific and real-life evidence proves doing one thing at a time is more productive and effective than multitasking.  Plus, you will be more considerate, creative and purposeful.  To help you stay focused, doing one thing at a time, try using a what I call a Monotasking Mantras. Here are a few examples:

  • Just do it.
  • Just don’t do it.
  • Momentum matters.
  • Step away.

Just do it.
How often do you start something, get distracted and have to go back to the unfinished task or project?  Stop driving yourself crazy.  When you feel yourself getting pulled away from the task at hand, remind yourself: just do it, stick with it and get it done.

Just don’t do it.
Phones, emails, texts. They were invented for our conveniences, not to make us trained circus animals jumping at every buzz and ding. Take control of your communication – and yourself. Read emails and texts when you have time to focus on them, which is often not when they arrive. Only answer calls when you can actually talk. (Have you ever called someone who answered: “I can’t talk!” and wondered “why did they answer?”)

Momentum matters.
While driving, if you turned a corner at 80 mph chances are likely you would end up in the ditch.  When we change direction – or focus – we are forced to slow down and regroup before we find the momentum to get moving again.  Multitasking interferes with forward momentum.

Step away.
Step away from the phone. And the computer. And the… Our devices are wonderful resources. They are also addictive distractions. Leave the phone in your office when you go talk to a colleague.  Stop emailing when you are on a call.  (We can tell you are doing it.) Commit to creating device-free zones in your personal and professional life.

Pick a mantra you like – one of the above or one of your own. Repeat the mantra to yourself – silently or outloud. You will impact your productivity and your happiness.

Got time to spare?  Please share your thoughts and ideas on monotasking.