Gut check: How many tabs do you have open right now? 13? You’re not alone. But all those distractions (aka another form of multitasking) can zap your efficiency and make it tougher to get things done. Which is why single-tasking is trending in a really big way.
Hold up. What’s single-tasking? Basically, it’s the idea of allowing yourself to focus on one thing at a time. This means setting out to do a task and protecting yourself against distractions—checking email, toggling between tabs—along the way.
But won’t this ruin my productivity? Nope. On the contrary, single-tasking can actually make you more efficient and mindful of your time. Think about it: When you multitask—aka try to do more than one thing at once—you’re typically left feeling unaccomplished and scattered at the end of the day. Single-tasking helps you set an intention behind every task, which has a serious calming effect. (FYI, researchers at the University of California, Irvine found that interruptions can cost us six hours of time a day.)
Still, life moves fast and I’ve got a lot to do. Don’t worry, single-tasking can be as simple as leaving your phone in the other room (or better yet, putting it on airplane mode for a bit). Other techniques to achieve focus: Logging out of email, making a to-do list or setting a timer per task.