In an earlier article we considered the benefits of monotasking and how to make it a way of life. Here, we bring you three practices through which you can embrace this style of work.
Practice 1: Dedicated time for each category of tasks
Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Square and Twitter. How does he manage to run two companies? He themes his days. Here’s what his workweek looks like:
- Monday: executive team meetings
- Tuesday: product
- Wednesday: marketing, communications, growth
- Thursday: developers, partnerships
- Friday: company culture, recruitment
- Saturday: day off hiking
- Sunday: reflection, strategy, getting ready for the next week
- Since a particular day is dedicated to a particular category of tasks, even if you’re interrupted, you can quickly switch back to what you were doing.
- It sets a rhythm for individuals and organizations, and makes it easy to track progress week after week.
Practice 2: Make an achievable to-do list
Whether multitasking or monotasking, chances are that you overcommit and overschedule. “When you are overscheduled, you have no time to reflect on your priorities and your to-do lists, and you very easily get caught up in things that are not necessarily important,” says author Julie Morgenstern. How can you break this habit? By acknowledging your limits, observing your high and low energy patterns, and by prioritizing. All these will help you make a realistic to-do list
- It saves you from exhaustion and anxiety, because you aren’t leaving tasks unchecked on your to-do list.
- You feel accomplished and have a better control on your tasks.
Practice 3: Deep work
Entrepreneur and writer, Samira Far, suggests deep work – “the ability to focus on a demanding task – one that requires higher levels of cognitive ability and awareness – without distractions for an extended period of time.” Some productivity methods suggest working for 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch, but Far suggests practicing deep work in two to four hour sessions, concentrating on only one project in that time.
- You move beyond superficial focus, as the task engages both sides of your brain and allows you to master complicated information.
- You achieve better results in less time.
According to Bryant Adibe, M.D., monotasking is a mindset that helps you to reexamine your relationship to time – your most precious and fundamental asset. Wondering which practice might work for you? Try each practice for a month, and track your productivity.