The Key To Productivity: Single Tasking12 Comments January 29, 2009 / Posted in Personal Development
Image courtesy of paulworthington
In my previous article, I wrote about multi tasking and how it actually affects our productivity. In this article, I will elaborate on the advantages of single tasking and how it can actually help us get more things done.
Single tasking is a philosophy of doing one thing at a time and this is a philosophy that Leo at Zenhabits practice. This is also my preferred method of doing things as I believe that one thing at a time will help me to get more things done compared to multi tasking.
Why Single task?
Single tasking is just like taking a complex question(multi tasking) meant for an undergraduate and try to rephrase it into a simple(single tasking) enough question that even a 10 year old kid could understand and if one could choose, I believe everyone will prefer simplicity rather than complexity.
Some benefits of single tasking:
1. Speed – Single tasking does not stretch our focus in all direction which result in us to be able to focus on our current job. With better focus, we tend to do things faster, thus we are able to complete it in a shorter amount of time.
2. A simple system – Single tasking is a simple system and one of the best way to implement it is by using a “to do” list system.
3. Quality of work – Single tasking allows us to devote all our resources into a single task which result in a higher quality of work.
How To Implement The Philosophy Of Single Tasking
1. To do list - Using a to do list is a great way to kick start your habit of single tasking. A to do list works in a way that you will need to do one thing at a time and move on to the next task and this run under the same philosophy of single tasking. This system allow you to monitor your progress because you are checking off the tasks that you had completed in the day.
2. Pen and paper – Pen and paper is one of the ways to create your to do list. At the start of your day, just brain dump the tasks that you will need to complete by today and check them off whenever you complete your task.
I personally keep a to do book and it does help me to get things done and keep track of how productive I am for the day by looking at what type and how many tasks I had completed.
3. Online to do list – There is an online application called Now Do This and it is a very simple application which you can use as your to do list.
Now Do This work in a very simple way. All you need is to click the “edit list” and type out each task in a new sentence. Whenever you complete your task, just click the “done” button and keep on doing it until you had completed your entire task.
You can also keep the page at the side of your browser to constantly remind you on what task you need to do today.
Step by Step
**Note** I’m using Mozilla Firefox on Windows Vista
1. Book mark the page Now Do This.
2. Click your “bookmarks” button followed by “organize bookmarks”. Search for “Now Do This” bookmark and click once on it.
3. Click the “more” button and check the box, “load bookmark in sidebar”
4. Restart your browser and click the Now Do This bookmark and you should see it as a sidebar in your browser.
Example of side bar
You can also create 2 list or more by adding a @ in front, so that you can toggle between the list such as tasks that you want to do now or later.
Here are some more simple lessons for you before I go. Keep your list short, focus your effort on one thing at a time and complete all your tasks that you had listed. If you can stick to this, this will be one of your best system that you can use to enhance your productivity.
**P.S** What system did you use to aid you to get things done? Do you use a to do system as well? See you in the comment section.
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