Do One Thing at a Time and Get Out of Your Head: Break the 9-5 Tradition That Multi-Tasking Is Best
I understand, we’ve been conditioned to multi-task.
Feeling overwhelmed with all the “things” that need to be done? It’s easy to get stressed out, especially if you are working 9-5 and trying to plan your escape and/or already ditched 9-5 life and are building your business. Entrepreneurship can be overwhelming. For me, the tech aspect of blogging for business is my Achilles heel.
This post is written from my personal experience and understanding that I need to tackle each aspect of the technology one-by-one. It is how I’m dealing with the overwhelm. So my advice for you all: get out of your head and focus on one thing at time.
We’ve been conditioned for years that multi-tasking is vital. I’m breaking that tradition right now and telling you that doing one thing at a time is better! I said it. And I’m sure it’s an unpopular opinion, at first glance anyway!
RELATED: Skye Sauchelli’s guest post on this blog about taking action. Note: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases on links I share, but it does not change your price.
Photo by Justus Menke on Unsplash
3 reasons doing one thing at a time is better than what we’ve been taught in 9-5 life.
Reason 1: Overwhelm can lead to inaction.
When we feel like there is too much to do, we can hesitate. Even to the point of doing nothing other than jumping on Netflix for a binge with a pint of ice cream or even fixing a broken faucet or doing load after load of laundry.
Reason 2: Stress is unhealthy.
Not rocket science! If you are stressed out, you aren’t productive, and conceivably experiencing negative effects. The impact of stress can be felt both mentally and physically. Looking at your lengthy list of tasks and to-dos can be stressful.
Reason 3: Losing focus brings on a feeling of failure.
When you lose your focus, your “why” can be left forgotten. It’s a quick trip from setting aside the excitement of your “why” for creating your business and hitting your goals. Next up: you feel stuck and feel like you’re failing.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Why doing one thing at a time leads to productivity.
I love to check things off a list.
I’m also pretty damn competitive—with myself! If you’ve been reading this blog, you may have seen my article about doing challenges (click here to read it!) and know that I believe in the value of setting goals.
If you have either of these things in common with me, doing one thing at a time will lead to productivity.
The truth is that focusing on one thing at a time, allows you to give it your full attention.
Full attention to any task will result in:
- Less error.
- Less distraction.
- Less frustration.
All of those are factors leading to stress and overwhelm. Simply put, you’ll be more productive and able to check each task off your list!
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
This article on Very Well Mind straight-up challenges the value of multi-tasking. Looking back at my corporate and government jobs, I’m questioning why I was so bent on showing off the “skill” of multi-tasking. Even in interviewing people for employment, I’ve asked them to share details about their ability to multi-task.
The question should have been: How do you manage your tasks, goals, and projects to completion?
Image by Hans from Pixabay
Doing one thing at a time is an art, so I’m sharing 3 tips to master it.
Tip 1: Get out of your head.
I said it at the beginning of the article, and I mean it. You must break the 9-5 tradition that multi-tasking is the end-all-be-all of productivity. Doing more, and nailing productivity, is actually more possible when you focus on one task at a time.
Mindset is everything.
It matters and it’s why I have listed #ShiftYourMindset as step 2 on my 6-Step Checklist to Escape the 9-5.
When you want to change your lifestyle, you need to look at things with a fresh perspective. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so getting out of your own head is vital. For purposes of this discussion, ditching the belief that multi-tasking is paramount to success.
Image by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz, from Pixabay
Tip 2: Write it all down.
I’ve said this in past posts as well: write everything down. It can be on paper or online. But having your tasks, ideas, projects, deadlines, and goals organized will go miles towards productivity. It will allow you to focus on one task at a time, knowing everything is where it needs to be.
In fact, if I have a random thought, I jot it down on a post-it, in Evernote, directly on my calendar, or if my Epic Blog is near me, in there immediately. Then I’m right back to the task at hand, without the distraction of going down a rabbit hole of another task “before I forget it.”
Tip 3: Time-blocking and batching works, so do it.
Have you ever said to yourself: “I will check emails every morning from 8-9am” or “Friday is the day I’ll be creating that PowerPoint?” … or something similar?
We naturally default to “setting time aside” for things we know are a priority.
So do it in your escape-the-9-5 too!
That, my friends, is time-blocking. Adding a task to your calendar with the intent of 100% focus on that task.
What is “batching?” It’s the act of doing everything related all at once. Example: I work on Pinterest for this blog 2-3 times a month, for 2-3 hours at a time. The result: Less than 10 hours a month (usually about 6) focused on creating pin graphics, writing content, researching titles, and scheduling my pins.
My advice: find a process that works for your needs and your personality to ensure you focus on one thing at a time, without distraction.
RELATED: I highly recommend this book!
I’m giving you permission to break the 9-5 tradition of multi-tasking.
Shift your mindset.
Get out of your head and ditch the 9-5 tradition of multi-tasking by focusing on one thing at a time!
Take action by implementing what I’ve shared above. Share your thoughts in the comments below- I hope I’ve inspired you.