How many times have you responded to an email while having dinner with your friend or significant other? Or responded to text messages while watching a t.v. show that you really enjoy? How many times have you scrolled through social media while working on a school project? We are often doing so many different things all at once.
Last Friday, once I finished work, I realized that I still had a large number of emails that I had to respond to. I decided to stay behind to cross them off my to do list because I had a few important projects I had to focus on the following week. However, I also had multiple product inquires that I had to respond to for my shop and wedding tasks I also urgently had to complete like bookings to finalize and quotes to obtain. So there I was, trying to switch between responding to a work email, then responding to a product inquiry, then reviewing quotes for the wedding and sending out more emails to obtain quotes etc! When 10 p.m. rolled around, I felt as though I had accomplished so much because well, I did, but I also realized that I could have gotten so much more done if I had just focused on one task at a time. I remember reading a work email that I had to respond to then quickly realizing I made a mistake in an email I just sent out to a wedding vendor with regards to timing, so I quickly went back to fix my mistake and then had to re-read my work email because I forgot what it was regarding!
We already have a hundred different thoughts running through our mind at any one moment. So it’s really important to focus on doing one thing at a time. Doing so makes it easier to focus our energy and effort towards the task at hand. I promise that your productivity will increase when you do.
For a lot of us, it’s especially important to remember this when we are tempted to reach for our phone to scroll through social media, read an article that can wait till later, or respond to a text message from a friend. I am sure we have all been there- we are working on a school or work project and find ourselves taking “short” and sometimes, in our mind, well deserved breaks to scroll through social media. We might not realize at the end of the day how much time we spent on social media- time that could have been spent on a more important task.
Some of us (I’m guilty of this) like to watch a t.v. show or listen to an audio file while working. However, when I do this, I find myself getting distracted from the task at hand every few minutes and by the end of the day, I end up spending much longer than I needed to to finish the task and also not fully taking in and enjoying whatever I was watching or listening to.
So today I challenge you to focus on doing one thing at a time.