How many times do you have a ton of tasks on your to-do list that never get done due to distractions and lack of focus? This used to happen to me all the time until I started to single task my to-do list. Don't get me wrong from time to time I still get distracted and can go off course but with these 6 steps it happens alot less frequently now that I have a focused plan.
Instead of Multi-tasking I started to Single task. Ever heard of it?
“Single Tasking” is the process of picking a task and focusing on that single task until it's complete. Single tasking is said to help you achieve more and increase your overall productivity.
These are the things I do to Single Task for a more productive day.
photo credit: Jasmine Star
How to Single Task For a More Productive Day
Step 1 Create a Master To-Do List
Make a master list of all the things you need to get done. Don’t keep all of your to-do items in your head. Do a brain dump. Studies show that doing a brain dump on paper can relieve stress and help you relax.
Step 2 Create a Mini To-Do List
Each day rather than creating a to-do list that is super long and filled with a bunch of mindless tasks, create a "MINI" to-do list. Take a small 3x5cm piece of paper and now choose 3 items you want to accomplish from that big long master list you just wrote out. Only 3 things. The paper is small so it’s hard to put a bazillion items on it and thus super easy to keep you focused.
Step 3 Turn Off All Distractions
Turn off all distraction. Distractions that could come from your computer, cell phone/social media/email notifications, any electronics etc. Put your phone on airplane mode if you have to. The key is to just focus on what you have to do. Period. Nothing else.
Step 4 Get It Done Before Noon
If possible complete your to-do list before noon. Get an early start to your day and start working on your list. The earlier you get your to-do’s finished the better you will feel and the more time you will gain in your day. Think about it, if you finish all your tasks by noon you will have the rest of the day to do whatever you want or be more productive and tackle something else from your master list.
Step 5 Set A Timer
Allot a certain amount of time to complete each task. Set a timer. I love the Pomodoro method. It’s a time allotment of four 25min segments. You set the timer for 25mins and do as much as you can in each 25min period 3 times in a row and the last segment is a break of 25mins. The break gives you time to relax and reassess how your doing.
Step 6 Pick a Task
Pick one task on your list and get to work. Focus on the hardest task first. Once that task is completed you will feel like you actually accomplished something and will be motivated to get the other tasks off your list.
Fully complete a task before moving to the next one.
Focus on your highest priority or hardest tasks first so you can feel accomplished.
Rinse and repeat daily! This method really does work and I urge you to give a try if you are having problems focusing and getting things done.
Over to you! Are you a single-tasker or multi-tasker? Let me know in the comments below!