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Mono-Tasking is Worth a Try

December 18, 2017

 

Time is one of the world’s most valuable commodities. We never have enough time, often finding our minds wandering to the next task instead of the three in front of us that we are trying to do all at the same time. The reason we try to do too much is because we take on too much, thinking, “Oh, while I do X, I can also try to do Y and Z in the in-between-time and then I will be much more productive!” Our minds are working in to-do lists that seem to always be growing. But can we really, truly multi-task? Or are we fooling ourselves into thinking that we can?

 

It is no secret that demands on our time have increased in the past few decades. Hundreds of years ago, a busy day would have been sweeping the porch, weeding the garden and making dinner. Today, a day like that seems a luxury we cannot afford. To have only three tasks for the day? A pipe dream. There is too much to get done to only focus on three tasks. When we have many tasks to accomplish, we try to do multiple things at once and when doing multiple things at once, we rob those tasks of the focus and attention they deserve. While we think we are being productive, we are really just switching from task to task, forcing our brains to switch gears and in the process taking longer to refocus on each task. So if what you need to do are tasks worth doing, then aren’t they tasks worth doing well?

 

Imagine how well you could brush your teeth if you didn’t try to pack for the day or get dressed at the same time. Your teeth might thank you for that, as well as your dentist! It also might keep toothpaste from finding its way onto your shirt. On a more meaningful level, imagine having a conversation with a dear friend and not looking at your phone every time it made a noise or vibrated. Imagine how important and loved it would make your friend feel, knowing they have your full attention and time.

 

When we stop and focus on one thing at a time, amazing things happen. Our stress levels decrease. Our productivity and quality of work increase. We can actually accomplish more if we slow down and complete one task at a time. It may seem counterintuitive, but the focus allows us to complete tasks right the first time. It helps eliminate mistakes that you might otherwise have to go back and fix later. And with each task we complete, we feel a sense of accomplishment which then motivates us to complete the next task. It is a wonderful cycle!

 

In the words of the great Ron Swanson, “Never half-ass two things when you can whole-ass one thing.”

 

Aimee has spent the past we won't say how many years working on the marketing side of the A/E/C industry, bridging the technical with the creative through clever proposals and various marketing pieces. This experience has intensified her affinity for proper grammar, brand standards and white space. When not creating proposals or interesting memes, Aimee spends her time writing, reading, playing with her Irish wolfhound, drinking coffee, hiking, and being an all-around nerd. There is not a game out there she won't play or a mountain she won't climb. Except maybe K2; that one is scary. Her blog, LivingLifeSpherically, is about finding yourself and being brave enough to be you.

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