Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The suns rays do not burn until brought into a focus. – Alexander Graham Bell
If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught in a vicious cycle of multitasking. Multitasking has a reputation of being a productive practice. Getting a multitude of things done at once is considered an accomplishment. In the past, I found myself writing blog posts, completing work tasks and making meals all in the span of an hour! I am all about switching focus to prevent boredom, but going from task to task seemed highly unproductive. Being a huge multitasker, it came at the expense of my best work.
Driven by my daily intention to remain mindful, I came across the art of single tasking a few years ago. I developed an equivocal attitude towards this – still adamant multitasking was the key to completing my goals. Upon testing the waters, I knew single tasking was a fantastic mindful concept for my lifestyle. Single tasking is an act of mindfulness since it gives all focus to the moment. It’s simple, yet so effective for productivity. All you have to do is take ONE activity at a time and devote ALL your attention to it.
Learning to single task is a hard habit for multitaskers. In our digital age, it isn’t surprising the status quo is distracted by daily technological stimulations. Single tasking means reducing distractions and learning to appreciate your current task on hand. Surprisingly, you’ll find yourself accomplishing MORE tasks when you have a direct focus.
Prior to your mindfulness meditation, here is a short list of “mindful challenges” you could try with single tasking:
- Eat a healthy breakfast with minimal distractions, focusing only on making the food and enjoying the experience. No music, no phone and no chatter.
- Watch a movie (or an episode of a show) from start to finish.
- Take a one mile walk by yourself and observe everything that comes your way.
Per usual, each single task should end with gratitude. Focusing on one task leaves a sense of delayed gratification; forgoing the satisfaction of a small accomplishment and gaining the satisfaction of an enduring reward later. Trust me – once you feel the positive effects of delayed gratification, single tasking will be a joy!
I would love to hear about your experiences with single tasking. Comment below and tell me how single tasking has helped you be more mindful.
Wishing you all a productive weekend. xx
Marissa Ranahan – Owner of Karmic Flow