The Benefits of Single-Tasking

I’m still putting together some thoughts on some of the other posts I want to do, so I thought I’d do this in the mean-time.

Today’s society is all about getting more done in less time.  It has created a new word which springs from what is expected of most people in today’s working world:


I am here today to tell you why multitasking (for the most part) doesn’t work.

It’s a great concept … in theory – work on several tasks at the same time so they they all get done sooner!

But if you reword that definition just a little to: splitting your focus and attention and concentration so that no one task is really getting the focus or work it needs.

You can see where this starts to fall apart.

I’ve believed this for quite some time, but it was brought to mind again a few days ago when someone mentioned “today I am multi-procrastinating”.  It was a funny little thought and jogged my memory on this.

It reminded me of The Power of Story, by Jim Loehr where he says: “multitasking is the enemy of extraordinariness”.

He talks about a CEO who came to realize that he and many others in his company were only really getting mediocre work done … because they were multitasking.

So what he did was at the beginning of every day identify 3 things he wanted to get finished that day (never more than 3) and found that now at the end of the day he was actually getting things done, and done well.  Why?  because he wasn’t splitting his focus, but instead taking the time to focus on what he was doing and doing it well.

Interestingly he found that he actually accomplished MORE and at a higher level of quality, because he was investing his full energy into the single task he was doing.

When you Focus in and Single-task you can get that task done quicker and better, THEN move on to the next task for the day.

The problem is that our business culture, for the most part, DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.

I talk to people all the time who are saying they run from meeting to meeting, where they talk a lot about projects, but they have very little time in the day to actually DO their work!

It’s a hard concept to grasp, but we actually need to slow down to get more done.

I think if we all took the time to laugh a little in the mornings and did a lot of single-tasking at work, we’d actually be much more productive and effective in the work place.

Now all I need to do is convince a two hundred year old corporate machine that I’m right.

Wish me luck.

And keep laughing …

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