How single-tasking is better than much-hyped multi-tasking?

Playing mommy to 2 young boys, working full-time on weekdays, and looking out for agents for my first book – I must confess,  it does gets overwhelming.

In this day and age, media fills our minds with the benefits of multi-tasking and benefits of getting a lot more done in less time. Don’t we see the ads popping out every second, and all the suggestions at every corner of any webpage, in-turn our attention is not minimized to one thing. We are made to force and think to do multiple tasks at the same time.

You may also find, several media outlets and self-helf gurus calls it “cool” that we can multi-task and can simultaneously tick-off many items from our To-Do list.

But, nobody focuses or tells how you’ll feel while being overwhelmed in ticking off so many tasks at the same time.

Isn’t this a kind of stress- running from one place to another, thinking several thoughts at the same time?

Writer Michael Harris puts it beautifully how we trick our mind when we multi-task –“When we think we’re multitasking we’re actually multiswitching. That is what the brain is very good at doing – quickly diverting its attention from one place to the next. We think we’re being productive. We are, indeed, being busy. But in reality we’re simply giving ourselves extra work.”

So, why can’t we slow down and do one task at a time? Why can’t we think, do and feel just this one thought- “how can I perform the task-in-hand, to the best of my ability? There is no rush. Let me get done with this one. And then, I will start my next.”

Even the thought of  doing  and enjoying one-task-at-a-time feels so refreshing.

I am someone, who likes to perform any task mindfully and in an aware state-of-mind – single-tasking allows me to accomplish it.

I can only be mindful, when I have one task or idea in hand.

Rushing through the tasks and running around, slips away your mindful self and make you an auto-pilot when you just want things to get done, no matter how the quality turns out to-be.

To get you from multi-tasking mode to a mindful single-tasking mode, let’s go through a few benefits of doing one-thing-at-a-time:

  • Increased focus : Our focus is significantly increased when we focus at one task at one time. In fact, it is a meditative process to fully concentrate at the item in hand.
  • Stress level will fall significantly : With just a few days of mindfully performing one task at a time, you will notice your stress level will reduce significantly. You will remember what all you did, as you gave it all your focus. Increased memory of your previous tasks and enthusiastic mindful approach to any task in hand, will leave you less stressed and more calm.
  • You will get more done as compared to multi-tasking: This is the irony of being a single-tasker as compared to multi-tasker. Like myself, several people who have switched from being a multi-tasker to a single-tasker can vouch for it. You end up getting more done and the output is of a better quality because the task was performed mindfully.
  • Attention span is improved : One of the greatest benefits of doing one-act-at-a-time is that your attention span is highly improved. If we look at small kids, they perform  one task at a time attentively and hence, they remember it for the longest time. It is when they happen to do multiple things, that’s when their attention span goes down. Same is with the adults, as well. If we do and focus on one task, our attention span increases.
  • Enhances our relationship with self and others: This is one of the most important and my personal favorite benefit of single tasking. When I am talking with my husband or my kids, I am just talking with them with my full focus. When I am doing the dishes or taking shower or writing this blog post, I am doing just one -task. I may get lost in thoughts, but as soon as I notice, I come back to the moment and just enjoy what I am doing at the moment.  When your family gets the attention they deserve and when every task in hand gets the focus it needs, you are bound to have better relationship with self and everyone around.

Be a single-tasker and enjoy it.

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