In this edition of our ‘In a Nutshell’ series, we delve into the concept of single tasking.

Single tasking is the opposite of multitasking. Rather than trying to do multiple things at once it is the idea of breaking everything down into single tasks and then completing these individually.


Why single task?

Within a workplace there is a large amount of pressure to get as much done as possible within the set workday. What this results in is a temptation to think about the tasks that still need to be done but aren’t being worked on at the moment. This distraction results in the task you’re currently trying to complete being done to a lower standard and constantly switching between different tasks results in lower productivity overall.


So why do we still multitask?

Concentrating on a single task for an extended period of time seems exhausting, whilst bouncing between multiple things seems more exciting and keeps things fresh. However, because your attention is more often than not elsewhere, even simple tasks take longer than they should.

Some tips to get started with single tasking.

1) Take regular breaks

Taking 5 minutes away from a mentally challenging task every hour or so, getting some fresh air or just taking some time away from the task in hand will allow your brain to relax, easing stress and allowing you to concentrate better for the next hour.


2) Give yourself a list of specific tasks

Having a list of defined tasks will make it easier to tackle them one by one, not having to think about what is coming next or the other things you have to do, you can concentrate on one thing at a time and tick them off.


3) Give your complete attention

Switching off your phone, email or anything else likely to distract you will allow you to fully focus on the task in hand without the ability to be distracted.



In summary, tackling tasks one at a time will make your work more enjoyable, less stressful and overall more productive. Gradually building up your ability to devote all of your attention on one task at once will result in getting more work done with seemingly less effort.

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