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Mono-task Instead of Multi-tasking


As noted in the video above, some jobs, such as air traffic controller, simultaneous translator at the UN, and journalist, require rapid switching and doing several things at once. But, for most of us, multitasking does not work. We need to focus on one thing at a time.


For example, if you have serval jobs to do, clean your desk. Focus on one of the jobs and complete it. Then, start the next job. You will accomplish a lot more!


A.K. Jayne at Chrom reports:

"If you are a multitasker who wants to try single-tasking, prioritizing tasks is key, according to Psychology Today. Make a list of tasks, and start your day with the most important task. If you cannot focus on one task until it is finished, try sticking with it for 18 minutes -- the point when attention can start to wane, according to the Harvard Business Review. Then go to the next task and work on it for as long as possible."

  • Why is multitasking a myth?
  • Why should you practice finishing what you started before moving onto something else?
  • What is wrong with trying to do several things at once or jumping between tasks?
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No one can SUCCESSFULLY multi-task!




Whelp - you just stepped into the minefield of things my wife and I argue about.


"Why can't you do more than one thing at once?  Start the washer and it will run while you work on dishes, then the dishwasher can be going while you're vaccuming!"

"Fine - but notice that I actually completed two things while you half did 5 things"


"You didn't preheat the oven when you started?"

"I haven't gotten that far in the recipe!"


"Why don't you fold laundry while you're watching that show?"

"Because..... I'm watching this show...."


Yeah - pretty sure I should just say "This is cool" and not give more comments.  Thanks for sharing.

Frequent Commenter

If there is one thing you’ll hear me say more than anything else all semester long it’s this:  Single task.

Dr Sandra Bond Chapman has a list of 7 secrets to turbocharge your brain and it’s one of the first things I show my Academic Strategies students each semester.  Secret #1 Single Task.  


@Scott_Crawford I don’t follow my own advice at home while “momming” because I fear our house would cave in! 


Very good!


Often times when one multi-tasks they do not give enough attention to a single task. Be passionate about one task, and then move onto the next for a successful day. 


Very true!

While there are some tasks I give my full attention to, I am a classic multi-tasker. Having been a consultant for many years, we had to multi-task to keep all the clients happy. I've been very successful with this process. I also know when to single-task.