Stop Multitasking, Start Monotasking

Posted by:

Get more done everydayDoes multitasking keep you constantly busy but never feeling like you’ve actually achieved much?

Do you realise that every time you stop focusing on a project to ‘quickly’ do something else, your brain takes valuable time to get back into gear on your original project….

…so overall, you’ve actually increased your workload?

Do you ever wonder if there’s a way to jump off the multitasking hamster wheel?

I do!

Get monotasking

I want to get more done in less time. I want to feel like I’ve achieved something at the end of each working day.

I now know this means I need to stop multitasking.

Instead of juggling several things at once without complete focus on any of them, I’m now prioritising and focusing on getting the important things done, one at a time.

I’ve stopped multitasking and started monotasking.

What is monotasking?

Monotasking takes inspiration from the current Minimalism movement… it’s about stripping back, discarding the unnecessary and focusing on what’s important.

In simple terms it’s about minimising the number of tasks you undertake in the day and tackling each task with complete focus.

I’ve put together a Mums Make Lists Vlog all about the benefits of monotasking within personal organisation, it features seven top tips for monotasking your way through the day. I’ve posted the tips below so you have a cheat sheet!

 

7 Ways To Monotask Your Way Through The Day

1. List and prioritise

Draw up a to-do list and prioritise what ACTUALLY needs attention THAT day.

Put everything else on the back-burner, or better still, consign it to the ‘not doing it’ pile.

2. One thing at a time

The essence of minitasking is tackling one project at a time with complete focus. Keep your focus and you’ll complete your task more quickly, with less mistakes and less need to rework it.

3. Bite the bullet

Start each day tackling the most important task, no matter how unappealing it is. The sooner it’s done, the sooner it is out of the way. This means it takes up less brain bandwidth worrying about it and you’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction that you’ve done it.

4. Email

Your email inbox can suck hours out of your day without you even realising.
Emails that need actioning can divert your attention from the project you should be focusing on.

So, what to do…

  • Resist checking your emails the second you wake up.
  • Resist checking your emails the minute you sit down at your laptop.
  • Give yourself set times to check email throughout the day.
  • Do not flick back and forward between tasks and email.

5. Social Media

Ditto Social Media… whether it’s a vital part of your business marketing strategy or simply a way to stay connected to your peers… it can devour your spare minutes and swallow whole hours.

Give yourself a couple of water-cooler moments each day to catch up on social media… morning coffee time and afternoon tea time (Yip, I’m British!!) being good opportunities.

If you feel your business needs more social media time, consider using a social media scheduler. There’s TweetDeck and HooteSuite for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. There are also several Pinterest schedulers out there, though the majority of these have subscription fees.

6. Take notes

Keep a notebook / use Notes on your phone for ideas that pop into your head, jot them down and come back to flesh them out later. That way you won’t worry that you’ll lose a brilliant idea and you won’t divert your brain away from your current project.

7. Time out

Switch off from work once you’ve done a day’s work. Under no circumstances feel tempted to keep doing bits here and there, it just elongates the process and makes you feel frustrated.

Shut the study door, close the laptop, switch off your cell phone, step away from your iPad.Yes really.

If you give yourself proper time to recuperate and for your brain to reboot, you’ll be ready to focus and achieve so much more the next working day.

I’ve already started monotasking through my working day and I can report back that my stress levels are down and my productivity is up. Try monotasking for yourself and let us know how you get on…

If you are looking for more quick tips do check out our other organisation posts …

Sign up to our newsletter

18 Responses

  1. I find my self struggling with all these. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  2. cfortin says:

    I totally agree with you. I have often wondered why multitasking ever got to be a glorified must have skill set.

  3. Jenna says:

    very great tips, bravo!

  4. Lauren says:

    I def need to do this!I feel like I have so much to do that I am getting nothing done. Great post! Glad to connect during treasure box tuesday!

    • Alice says:

      Definitely makes a difference Lauren … I am getting better but still need to wean myself off trying to do everything at the same time as feeding my Pinterest addiction. Hmmmm …

  5. Tracee says:

    This is an excellent post and I totally agree with your advice. Thanks for the reminders. I found you through the Project Inspired Link Party. Thanks for being a part!

  6. Kirsten says:

    YES YES YES! I struggle daily with maintaining focus. I honeslty feel like Doug from “Up” – SQUIRREL! And by the end of the day, my to-do list has only gotten longer rather than shorter!

    I’ve begun practicing monotasking over the past several weeks, and I really enjoy my tasks more now. It’s still a struggle, as old habits die hard, but I’m making progress. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Alice says:

      There’s just so much to juggle isn’t there Kirsten, that it’s easy to fall into flitting between everything and getting nothing done. Do hope Luci’s ideas help xx

  7. Mackenzie says:

    I pinned your article to Pinterest so I can read it more in depth later on. I really liked how you have it laid out thus far.

  8. This is such an interesting idea. Maybe I’ll have to give this a go…as a mom, not multitasking is going to be hard! LOL. Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We’d love to have you for a visit. The Door Opens FRIDAY. http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/02/26/home-matters-linky-party-26/ :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    • Alice says:

      You’re right Lorelai it is super hard as a mum as we are juggling so much stuff but when I stick to it it really does help me be less crazy and frazzled and actually get stuff done. Thanks so much for the party invite, I’ll add it to our calendar – what time does it start?

  9. […] Stop Multitasking, Start Monotasking ~ @ Mums Make Lists […]

  10. Sharyn says:

    Yes! Thanks for the tips. I was searching for “life/time management” since I need to do EVERY job of a home based business AND home management/mom. I once wrote out the amount of time everything needs a day and it added up to MORE THAN A DAY !! Lol. But seriously… Any ideas of where to go for more help?

Leave a Reply