Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Focus On One Thing At A Time (And Don't Multi-Task)

Do you focus on doing one thing or multi-task several things at a time? Yes, it's a common dilemma we all face, in school or work.

Which is more efficient? Which gets shit done quicker? Which is superior?

No need to overthink this. No need to check (and double-check) a dozen sources for the right answer. It's simple. Focus, without a doubt, beats multi-tasking every single time.

Here are 3 reasons why (which also doubles up as 'steps' - focus rocks!):

1. Work In Sequence

Say you have 5 major tasks to complete within 5 days. Do you devote one day per task or divide each day equally into five parts?

Maybe that's still tricky, so let's slice it down to even smaller bits.

Say you woke up late and have only 15 minutes to brush your teeth, shower, change clothes, put on makeup and pack your bag. Do you try to do them all at once? Or do you do each task one after the other?

That's right. Doesn't matter whether the task is big or small, whether the time is minutes or months. A mind immersed in a single task at one time is sharper and faster. No distractions, no energy and time wastage in shifting mental gears between different tasks.

No, even Asians can't multi-task

2. Get Important Shit Done First

Another advantage of doing things sequentially is that it forces you to prioritise them in order of importance. Let's face it. We always over-estimate our timing. There's a strong chance we may not actually get those 5 tasks done by Friday.

So start doing the absolutely important things first, and put off everything else. Brush teeth - check. Shower - teeth. Change clothes - check. Put on makeup... oh shit, no time, but no biggie, can always get it done in the car...

By doing things sequentially, you're assured of completing, say, the Top 3 important tasks of the week (maybe you'll get some shit). If you jumble them all together, chances are you won't even complete a single task by Friday (for sure you're dead).

3. Wrap Up Fast And Move On

When we spread things over an extended period of time, procrastination sets in. We get lulled into a sense of security. Each of the four other task becomes an excuse of not completing the task at hand. When Friday becomes the deadline of everything, nothing ever gets done before that.

But if you tell yourself you can't move on to the next four task until you've finished the first (and most important) one, that turns up the pressure. Yes, the pressure may be overwhelming, but it's better to be pressured right from the start than only at the end.

Each time we're done with one task, we need to move on to the next task. Don't dwell on the task we've just completed. Our minds should only be focused on the present task at hand - and nothing else.

Yes, even white chicks can focus

Focus Pocus

Some people are able to get shit done twice as fast we take. Did they use magic? No. All it takes is focus.

So stay focused, and stop multi-tasking.

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