In our technologically-advanced age, people are constantly trying to multi-task. We are trying to do more than one thing at the same time. We think multi-tasking makes us more productive.
Well, it doesn’t. Multi-tasking actually makes us less productive. All sorts of studies prove it, including a recent study. This Stanford University study proved that people multi-tasking across electronic devices cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. Startling information, considering how many of us text/browse the internet while watching TV. We are more productive if we do one thing at a time – if we uni-task.
Don’t multi-task. Uni-task.
How do you become more productive through uni-tasking? You simplify and focus.
Simplifying is about saying no, to yourself and others. This is not easy to do. You may hurt some feelings or you may feel like you are turning down opportunities. But if you simplify, you can focus. And if you focus on the right things, you’ll be better and more effective at the things that matter.
At the end of the day, no one really cares about how many things you do. They care about how well you do the things that are important to you.
So while you may be able to send a text message, answer an email, read Facebook, drink a coffee, and do your “real” work at the same time, my bet is that you aren’t doing any of those things as effectively as you would if you set aside time for each task and really focused on the task at hand.
Try this experiment for one week: do one thing at a time.
Simplify and focus your attention and energy on that one thing. See how it works. I’ll bet you will be more effective and less stressed. I’ll also bed that what you spend time working on will turn out better than if you try to do too many things at once.