“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.~ Josh Billings

If you multitask your way through the day you may want to consider how that impacts the quality of your work. Our brains work best when we focus on one task at a time. That’s not always easy to do when life gets busy, but if you can practice singular focus, you’ll learn to do more work, and better quality work in less time. Can I get a ‘heck yeah’?!

Choose one task. Shut off notifications. Set a timer for 15 minutes… and get that task done.

Then watch the short video below, or read the transcript that follows to learn three tips to minimize multitasking.

Hey Michelle Cederberg here, coming to you from yet another airport. This time I’m in Vancouver on my way home for the long weekend. I just finished doing a presentation for a group of Certified Professional Accountants on the Myth of Multi-tasking. When we think about multi-tasking, we think of doing as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably marshaling the technology of as many devices as possible. I think you can all relate.

And as I am walking through this airport, I mean everybody that I see in the airport, they are looking at their devices. Me, I’m holding mine up and talking to it like a crazy person. But you know what I mean. We’re trying to fit stuff in, we’re trying to do as much as we can, we’re trying to distract ourselves through it all, and it’s not the way that our brains work.

I want you to think about the tasks you have in front of you on any given day. How many pieces of technology are open? How many tabs of your screen are open? How much clutter and documents do you have on your desk? And how can you work to minimize some of that multi-tasking mayhem so you can get more work done?

Two things to suggest. Number one, set a timer for ten minutes and do a ten minute decluttering of your space so that you can focus on one task at hand. When you’ve done that, use that same darn timer, set it again for 10, 15, 20, maybe 30 minutes and decide on that one task that you’re consciously going to focus on all on its own so we’re not going to be jumping back and forth from to-do, to-do, to-do. Pick the task, start the timer, do 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes of focused action on that one thing without allowing yourself to be distracted.

And I will also suggest that when you are trying to set multi-tasking aside, turn off your phone, turn off your notifications on your computer and allow yourself to be undistracted by incoming beeps and buzzes and vibrations. So there you go.

We have enough coming at us every single day without letting distractions and multiple to-dos drain our focus and impact our productivity. Multi-tasking is a myth. Focus is fantastic. I’m hoping through what I’ve shared here, you will have a little bit more focus and a little bit less frenzy.

Have a great day. Until next time, I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you that you have one life to live, I say dare to live it big. Until next time.

Michelle Cederberg, CSP, MKin, BA Psyc

Empowering today’s dreamers, leaders and go-getters to create the life and career they want.


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