How to Single Task For a More Productive Day

How to Single Task For a More Productive Day

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.

 

How-to-Single-Task-for-a-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!

 

xoxo

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37 Comments to How to Single Task For a More Productive Day

  1. I’ve never heard this before and LOVE it! We live in a world where “multitasking” is a necessary skill and asked for in every workplace. Singletasking sounds like a refreshing way to actually focus on what you are trying to accomplish.

  2. Brittany

    I need to try this! I’ always working hard to get things done during the day but then I get overwhelmed and give up sometimes.

  3. I’ve never heard of this before but it really does seem like a great way to stay on task and feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed.

  4. this sounds like a great idea but I don’t know if I can do it!

  5. I always have a never ending to-do list and I constantly jump from one thing to another. I really need to try this tip out and make for a more productive day.

  6. I did this today. I set up a 30 min increment schedule for myself and what I need to get done. The one difference I do is have a 45 min reward time at the end of 4 30 min time slots to watch a show that I have been binge watching. If I do the first 4 task I can spend an hour just watching it.

  7. Jeanine Macintosh

    My hubby is the master of multitasking attempting. It’s kinda funny at times to watch him start 5 things at once. Time I think he tried these great tips and strategies!

  8. The Pomodoro method has seriously saved my butt in the past, both during school and finals AND now that I’m getting more serious with my blog!

  9. This is great! I actually do something similar and i find it works so much better than doing a ton at once. I like to focus on one thing and finish and move on to the next.

  10. Great tips. I am a multi-tasker but can totally see why single tasking it might be better for some days. I am a list maker and love to check things off of my to do list.

  11. THANK YOU for this post! I really really needed to read this today since I am SO distracted all the time and have trouble completing even one task. I am going to try the master and mini lists, as well as the single-tasking starting today!

    XOXO,

    Elise @ Belle Meets World blog

  12. My issue last year was remaining focussed and I found myself getting overwhelmed by all balls I was juggling in my life! Great tips on how to remain focussed on the task at hand, thanks for sharing!

  13. My projects are typically very big and can’t be done all at once. I love the idea though, and am going to look for where I could do this successfully.

  14. I’ve just started making lists of priority options. It has made my life a whole lot easier!

  15. I love the idea of making a master and a mini list, I might try that! But I have to say if my set goal completion time was noon, I would have to wake up at 3am!

  16. Such a great idea. It’s amazing how distracted we become throughout the day and it seems sometimes nothing gets done.

  17. I do the most when I get it done in the morning. I also do better when I have a set list of things to accomplish.

    • Natoya Ammon

      I’m a more productive person in the morning too!

  18. I’m both a single-tasker and a multi-tasker. Because I work from home with my kids running around, I like to do quick, easy tasks in the morning one at a time. But, when it’s their naptime and I’m running the timeclock, I like to do multiple things while I’m waiting on things for work assignments.

    • Natoya Ammon

      As a mom for sure you you have to juggle both single and multi-taksing. there is definitely a place for both at times. Thanks for your feedback.

  19. I prefer single tasking because I finish stuff faster than when I do multitasking! I think these are good pointers. It’s nice to have schedule to follow to help you finish tasks on time.

    • Natoya Ammon

      Yes a schedule helps to keep you on track as well. Thanks Karen:)

  20. I could do better at single-tasking and sometimes I do start too many things, but it’s just the way I function. This is a good post though

    • Natoya Ammon

      Glad you liked it Krystel!!

  21. Reesa Lewandowski

    I have never thought to do this, but I think it is something that would be really helpful for me to more productive. Thank you for the idea!

    • Natoya Ammon

      Your welcome Reesa!! Yes pls try it out, it has changed my life. Come back and let me know how it has worked for you:)

  22. My issue is that I often try and do too much at the same time so I really like the sound of ‘single tasking’. This would most definitely help me concentrate and procrastinate less I think !

  23. When I started working from home I was a huge multitasker but then I found I wasn’t getting anything done and I just ended up wasting all my time. So frustrating. I switched to singletasking just over a year ago and it has made a huge difference in my productivity! I still make a to do list but now I did each thing on it’s one! The set timer thing is definitely something I do need to start doing on certain tasks!

    • Natoya Ammon

      That’s awesome Angela!! Single tasking has helped me out a lot too!!

  24. I really need to focus more on single tasks. I have a little bit of ADD, and find it hard to complete one thing before starting something else. Before the day is over I’m in over my head. I’ll have to try this out.

    • Natoya Ammon

      I’m sure we all have a bit of ADD in us i’m right there with you on that one. Single tasking has really helped me out a lot in terms of really accomplishing big things i want to get done!! Keep at it girl!

  25. I love the idea of single tak and all your ways to make sure you get it done. I am a morning person so getting it done before 12 noon is my favorite.

    • Natoya Ammon

      Thanks Melissa!! Getting things done earlier in the day has helped me out alot!

  26. Jennifer G

    These are really great ideas. It is too hard to be able focus on so many things at once. I am going to have to take this advice to heart because sometimes I feel as though my days are not nearly as productive as I would like them to be.

    • Natoya Ammon

      i know what you mean, being really focused is hard for me too!! Lets try to make 2018 a productive year by really getting laser focused on one single task at a time!!

  27. Robin rue

    I am a list maker. If it’s not written down, it will not get done. I love your suggestions – especially the before noon one.

    • Natoya Ammon

      Thank you Robin!! Getting it done early is always better!!

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