Single Tasking Day
annually on February 21st
Multitasking makes it difficult to focus, easier to make mistakes, and harder to be productive. Projects take longer—about fifty percent less gets accomplished when one tries to do a few things at once, instead of working on one thing at a time. Tasks may also end up half-finished, or get finished with low quality. Although about two percent of people can multitask, the overwhelming majority of people can't and don't benefit from trying to.
Single Tasking Day came as a response to all the multitasking habits that surround us. It is a day to focus and concentrate on one thing at a time. Maybe only one thing will get accomplished all day. Maybe multiple things will. Either way, the day is for only working on one thing at a time.
How to Observe
Today, focus on only one activity at a time and get rid of the distractions. Pick one thing you will focus on for the whole day, or make a list of things to do, but don't move unto the second one until the first one is completed, or until an allotted time for the task has taken place.
James Rouse, a naturopathic doctor and author, gave the following tips on how to better single-task:
- Begin your day without electronics. Keep your phone away from your bed, so it isn't the first thing you see in the morning. Instead, start the day with a stretch or a deep breath.
- Pick an activity to focus on for the week, such as keeping your phone in a drawer when working on another activity or eating your meals more mindfully.
- Eliminate disruptions when you are around other people. Put away your phone, and be present and engaged in the moment.
- Take a walk. Getting outside and exercising will help you to single task. Be aware of your environment, and keep your phone at home.
- Have a scheduled time each day for your hardest task. If you have a set time when you work on this task, your body will adjust, and you will no longer be able to procrastinate.
- Give someone a hug. It will help you refocus, and it relieves stress.
- Keep trying. You may slip up and not always be true to your single-tasking goals, but you are sure to get better over time if you keep trying.