Single Tasking – Stop Multitasking and Start Achieving More by Doing Less.
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 23 January 2023


Focusing your efforts on a single task will help you think more clearly and determine what steps must be completed.

Does multi-tasking increase productivity? Is multi-tasking helping or harming your brain? We live in a world where multitasking is common, but we have to ask the question….is it the most efficient use of our time or has the time come to embrace doing more with less also known as single tasking.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often feel the pressure to juggle multiple tasks at once. We have been lead to believe that multitasking is the key to getting more done in less time, but in reality, it can actually have the opposite effect.

The Multitasking Myth

If you struggle with multi-tasking don’t despair, I do too. My wife seems good at it, or maybe she has just found a better way than I have at keeping her focus. I happy to inform you that multitasking is a myth. There is a reason why many countries have made it illegal to use your phone and drive at the same time or even eat while driving. These laws are in place because when your focus is divided, accidents are more likely to happen.   

Studies have shown that when people are forced to switch gears in the middle of a task, valuable time is lost. The more complex the task, the more time is lost. The lost time is the time that’s usually spent by the frontal lobe of your brain making decisions and establishing priorities. 

  • Scientists studying the effects of multitasking noted that when you multitask, rather than getting a lot more accomplished, you may find that the quality of your work diminishes significantly while important tasks actually take longer.  

The good news is there is an alternative to multitasking, its called Single-Tasking 
Life as a parent can be very busy as we are do our best to get things done while keep many plates spinning, but I invite you to try spending one day where all you do is focus all your energy on one task at a time. I did it a few years back and I pleasantly discovered that I was making significantly more progress than usual I tackled one job at a time without interruption. Lets define single tasking as Single tasking is the practice of focusing on one task at a time, without interruption, until it is completed.

When you have children, working without interruption may be easier said than done so here are some tips I use to stack the chances of success in my favour. It may seem strange at the start, but I found single tasking to be a more efficient and effective way of getting things done.

Before you get any further you should know that single tasking can increase productivity, reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Read on for my 5 simple strategies you can use to implement single tasking in your daily routine and achieve your goals faster.

1. Create a to-do list.

One of the biggest benefits of creating a to-do list is that it allows you to break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can make it easier to focus on one task at a time, and to see progress being made. It also helps to avoid procrastination and to keep a clear view on what needs to be done. I found that creating a to-do list helped me to stay organized, prioritize tasks, set goals and deadlines, stay on track, stay motivated and focused, and eliminate unnecessary tasks while I was single tasking.

  • Creating a to-do list allows you to keep track of deadlines and ensure that you’re meeting them. This can help you to reduce stress and ensure that you’re completing tasks on time. 
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2. Keep a notebook handy.  

Keeping a notebook nearby while you’re single tasking can be is a useful tool for capturing thoughts and ideas that may come to mind while you’re working. I often find that when I am in the flow of a task, I get lost in my thoughts and lose track of time quite easily so having a notebook nearby allows me to quickly jot down any thoughts or ideas that come to mind, without interrupting my flow. Keeping a notebook nearby while single tasking can help you to capture thoughts and ideas, organize your thoughts, remember important details, and stay on track with your goals and priorities.

3. Turn off distractions. 

If possible, turn off your phone or shut down your computer if they’re pulling your focus away from your present task. 

One of the biggest benefits of turning off distractions while single tasking is that it allows you to give your full attention to the task at hand. Distractions, such as notifications on your phone or incoming emails, can break your concentration and cause you to lose focus. When you eliminate these distractions, you are able to focus more deeply and for longer periods of time. Turning off distractions is crucial for single tasking and it can lead to better focus, increased efficiency, reduced stress and improved quality of work.

If you feel the urge to check your phone, take a deep breath and continue working. Don’t worry; your phone’s not going anywhere! It will still be there in the same place when you finish your current task. Just remember, turning off distractions can lead to better quality of work. When you are able to focus on one task at a time, you are able to give it your full attention and produce a higher quality outcome.

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4. Plan your day in blocks of time.


Planning your day in blocks of time can be an effective way to increase productivity and focus while single tasking.

One of the main benefits of planning your day in blocks of time is that it allows you to focus on one task at a time without interruption. By setting specific blocks of time for each task, you can avoid the constant switching between tasks that can decrease productivity and increase stress. By allocating specific blocks of time for each task, you can ensure that you’re using your time efficiently and effectively. I found that planning my day in blocks of time can also helped to reduce my stress and improve overall well-being. I was able to manage my time effectively, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

  • Make sure you leave some blocks open for unexpected situations that may come up and breaks too. 
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5. Every now and then, take stock.

Taking stock of what you have achieved from time to time is an important part of single tasking, as it allows you to evaluate your progress, set new goals, and adjust your approach as needed. Taking stock of what you have achieved is an important part of single tasking, as it allows you to evaluate your progress, set new goals, adjust your approach, stay motivated, improve time management and organization. 

  • By evaluating your progress, you can identify new areas to focus on and set new goals for yourself. This can help you to stay on track and continue to make progress.. 

My final thoughts

Single-tasking might seem counterproductive and take some time to get used to, especially if you’re accustomed to working on multiple projects at one time but I think you will find that focusing your efforts on a single task will help you think more clearly and determine what steps must be completed. 

This is not an exhaustive list of ideas but these tips helped me get started with single-tasking. These days I avoid multitasking because juggling multiple tasks and their associated deadlines can be very stressful when family life and work life collide.  
Wouldn’t it be nice to make our busy lives a little less hectic?  
Single tasking did a world of good for my emotional, mental, and even physical well-being and I have you come to find, like I did, that it is the sane alternative to multitasking! 

 Thank for reading this post, if you found value in it, please share it with others. 

If you have any other single tasking tips and alternatives to multitasking, please let me know in the comments below. 

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