To really embrace life and live it to the fullest, we’ve forced ourselves to juggle multiple tasks at once in an attempt to increase our productivity and get everything done. What if we told you that, in fact, tackling one task at a time will not only give you the time but also the energy to go out and live?
In the wise words of Seneca, a Spanish-born Roman statesman and philosopher – “To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”Have you ever tried typing an email while talking on the phone? Easier said than done, right? Although you might think you’re multitasking, your brain is actually switching back and forth between tasks because there is only one neural pathway through which language flows.
David Meyer, a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan, believes that multitasking is a myth. “When you perform multiple tasks that each require some of the same channels of processing, conflicts will arise between the tasks, and you’re going to have to pick and choose which task you’re going to focus on and devote a channel of processing to it,” he explains.
When your brain jumps from one task to the other, you end up with lower performance and cognitive overload, leaving you exhausted according to research. Meyer says that switching between tasks can cost you as much as 40% of your productive time – ouch!
So how should you be approaching productivity?
Embracing Single Tasking
According to researchers, single tasking or focussing on one task at a time is the answer to boosted productivity. The trick to single tasking is eliminating any and all distractions and committing to one task at a time. Here are a few distraction busting tips:
- Disconnect – Put your phone on silent, log out of Facebook and Instagram and stop checking your emails. There are even a few apps that will block social media pages for you for a period of time if you need a bit of help.
- Give yourself a time limit – concentration only lasts so long until you start looking for distractions. Focus on one task for a set time and then give yourself a break.
- Fuel your body – keeping healthy snacks on hand will make sure your energy levels are topped up and you aren’t hungry, helping you stay focused for longer. Also make sure to give your body the right micronutrients for optimum cognitive function – try our McNab’s SuperCharge tabs.
- Clear clutter – Clutter can be distracting. Make sure to keep your desk and office space neat and tidy to help focus.
- Give yourself a break – whether you go and make yourself a cup of tea, go for a walk, are do a few squats to get your blood pumping, make sure to give yourself regular breaks – besides concentration, sitting for long periods of time isn’t ideal either.
And there you have it, the most productive way to approach your to-do list. The only question left is how you’ll embrace all the free time you’ll have left?