High Performance

Forget Multitasking, Welcome Monotasking

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You have finally arranged your study table. You open your laptop to start your new project. You have started creating the plans for it, and then you hear a “Ping” on your smartphone. What will be your immediate reaction? 

Many of us will agree to the fact that we will check our phone to have a look at the notification and will consider it as an innocent and harmless distract. But is that the truth? Such constant interruptions have the same effect as loss of night sleeps. When you start doing sometime, you have to ensure that the flow remains constant because that is the only way to ensure that you come up with a masterpiece. 

Multitasking is a myth!

Most people consider multitasking as one of their most important skill. It won’t be a lie if I tell you that multitasking also impresses many recruiters. But can multitasking lead to an increase in your productivity limit? Multitasking is a myth! Because when you are multitasking, you are moving in and out of work. You are switching between your work, that’s multitasking, and this will surely drop the quality of the works that you are simultaneously performing in a stipulated time. We tell ourself that we are doing a whole bunch of things at once, but we are not! It just gives us a false sense of accomplishment

multitasking is a myth

For ensuring that you get the best result, you have to practice a mindset full of concentration. Whatever task you pick to do, you have to do it with full concentration. In short, you do not have to lose focus on it. Better concentration lead to less stressful, easier, more productive and happier life. 

How should we approach a task?

Pick the top three priorities of your day. And start working on them one by one. When you complete the first task, then shift to the second instead of juggling among all the things that you want to do. When you want to do something, sit down and remove all the distractions. Close the distracting apps from the laptop and keep your phone in a silent mode and away from you. And then start working on it with your full concentration. The key to complete a task in a successful task without compromising with its quality is by doing one task at a time. Forget multitasking, try monotasking. 

Multitasking is possible, but multi-focus is not

If you think multitasking is an effective way to get more things done, you have got it backward. You might get a quantity, but you will seldom get quality work with it. Doing multitasking, make us assume that we are processing things at a parallel level, but our brain doesn’t work that way. In fact, when we are multitasking, our deliberate system is rapidly switching our attention to all the tasks that we are doing. And this wastes both time and focus. 

A study by Sophie Leroy, titled “Why Is It So Hard To Do My Work” explains this beautifully with the term “attention residue.” Suppose, you are doing task A and then you start doing task B, you might have physically started doing the job but your attention will not immediately follow it. And this attention residue drops the quality of the work that you are doing. 

attention residue

Are there any really good multi-taskers?

A study has revealed that the people who consider themselves hardcore multi-taskers are actually not good multi-taskers. When asked to perform multitasking, they ended up making mistakes. This clearly indicates that multitasking is a myth. Multitasking becomes possible when the other subsequent thing that we are doing has become muscle memory. 

Source: JamesClear.com

For example, you can do multitasking while driving a car. You can talk with your fellow passenger when you are driving because it has become a muscle memory. But if another car comes in the front of you when you are not expecting it, you become alert, and you have to focus on your driving, and then multi-multi-tasking doesn’t remain as an option then. So, multi-tasking never is an option when you want to focus on something!

The next time you start working, remove all the distractions, take a few breaths and start working with a set intention and just let it flow. Don’t rush anything!

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6 thoughts on “Forget Multitasking, Welcome Monotasking

  1. I love starting my day by sorting down and making a list of everything I need to do. It helps me prioritize and I can tackle each task one by one so I know everything is getting done.

  2. I had to laugh at the graphic because that describes me to a T whenever I have tried to multitask (and my first car has quite a few dings and dents from distracted driving). Now I know better than to multitask while doing anything that involves coordination or puts my own or others’ safety at risk, but I’ve still find myself doing it in small ways, like watching my morning video (something related to meditation or self-help) and scrolling Pinterest and then realizing I didn’t hear a word of the video!

  3. I tend to agree with you. I am always trying to do multiple things at once. All this accomplishes is that I misplace things, fail to completely finish one or more of the tasks I am working on, or make avoidable mistakes had I been giving my full attention to one task at a time.

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