While multitasking is often thought to be an added skill, it tends to cause more harm than good. Focusing on one task at a time is more effective than having a pile of tasks to do. Researchers argue that you are more poised to increase your productivity by boosting your focus and avoiding multitasking.

The reality is that you end up lowering your work quality when you focus on more than one thing at the same time. The issue is that multitasking can get very addictive and not many would be willing to stop.

Here are a few tips to help you stop multitasking and increase your focus:
1. Get rid of distractions

Most of the interruptions people face nowadays emanate from mobile phones and other technological devices. These are an embodiment of our daily lives to the extent of interrupting tasks. 

It seems like people these days can’t control their desire to check messages and other notifications, primarily because of the increasing social media presence. However, there’s a trick to help you avoid succumbing to this pressure. Switch off the phone or toggle the silent button. As simple as this may seem to be, it goes a long way in helping you avoid multitasking.

2. Make a to-do list

You cannot avoid distractions when you don’t even know what to do as a task. A to-do list will help you plan your day’s activities so that you can avoid getting any distractions. Remember to include a few minutes or hours for rest as you still need to take breaks. You can utilize this free time to check your phone and respond to other distractions.

3. Avoid talking to colleagues during work time

When you’re working and having a conversation, you are vulnerable to messing up on the job. After you’re through and start going through the task, you will realize several flaws that you might have avoided if you kept silent and focused.

4. Have a tidy and serene working environment

Cleanliness is mostly overlooked but is a prerequisite for success in job completion. When your working area is in a mess, you will not think straight, and chances are that you may fall victim of slight distractions. 

For example, you might be typing on your desk and hit a glass off the table. You will need to clear the mess before getting back to work, which is time-wasting because you’ve deviated from the job.

“Multitasking is like constantly pulling up a plant. This kind of constant shifting of your attention means that new ideas and concepts have no chance to take root and flourish.” – Barbara Oakley

5. Boost focus

Learn to concentrate on one thing without thinking of another at a particular time. For example, if you are working on a job report, put your mind to it alone, without thinking of the appraisal forms you need to fill out. This will help you clear one task rapidly and with accuracy, before moving onto the next one.

6. Learn about your habits

The best way to diagnose a problem is to find its root cause. Sit down and evaluate your workday by seeing what takes the majority of your time. Self-evaluation will go a long way in making sure you don’t get distracted while working on any task.

7. Do one thing at a time

It’s crucial for you to remain focused on one thing at a time. It is wrong to believe that multitasking helps you to get everything done quickly and appropriately. If anything, you are wasting more time than you will save when doing things in a particular sequence.

Also, carrying out different tasks at the same time often leads to rework or shoddy results. While you might think that you completed the task at hand before time, you may be required to start over again if someone else checks your work. In the end, you will waste more time than you can save.

8. Work in intervals

You cannot work from morning to evening and expect your brain to be alert throughout. The typical human brain can only work for a certain amount of time. You need to take frequent stops to refresh and boost your focus. When you work without breaks, your mind may start drifting away, causing you to multitask.

Some people claim they don’t have proper time management skills. If you cannot manage your time well, then come up with a to-do list that will act as a guide. Scientists have proven that the human brain functions optimally when given breaks. This tip will equally help you increase your focus when working.

9. Avoid checking out other sites not related to the work you are doing

Unfortunately, this is a huge problem that many people face in their daily activities. For instance, someone will be researching the web for information on real estate and quickly take a glance at the Facebook or Twitter tab. As much as this may only take five minutes per check, you will end up checking more than once. Put together; you will realize how much time you have wasted in your day.

While you thought it was one innocent check that didn’t even go past one minute, the reality is that you probably spent an hour – plus an inconsistent result on the task you were handling. To solve this problem, you can opt for a browser blocker that will hide all the sites that you are used to checking frequently. Alternatively, if you’re disciplined enough, close all the unnecessary tabs on your browser.

“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” – Tony Robbins 

10. Start with the hard ones before heading for more manageable tasks

Most people begin with easy tasks before the hard ones, and this can derail your focus. If you work from the morning hours, you need to look at the challenging tasks first and then later you can handle the easier ones.

Wrapping up, you have seen what to do to alleviate multitasking and boost focus instead. Remember to avoid multitasking as this can lead to inconsistency and poor performance at work. Finally, make sure you are taking enough breaks to refresh the mind.

Do you struggle to remain focused on your daily tasks? If so, how do you remain focused and not feel the desire to multitask? Share your thoughts with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Have you ever found yourself having more to do with no time left to do it? Desperate, you decide to sacrifice sleep, or spend less time with your loved ones in order to get things done, only to find yourself unfulfilled and burnt out because you have not accomplished anything. While time-management has already given rise to a whole library of books, we seem to be more in need of time-management now than ever before. Look no further.

What follows are five habits of some of the most highly productive people. I cannot promise a miracle, but I can guarantee you if emulate these habits, you will be more productive than ever before.

1. Begin with the end in mind

If you have read Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, “seven habits of the highly effective people”, you have certainly acquainted with this. There is nothing new here, but a mere reminder that you need to start each day with a clearly defined goal to be accomplished. “If you don’t know where you are going, then you probably won’t end up there.” was famously said by Forrest Gump. This quote exemplifies the importance of setting goals, sticking to them and seeing them through.

2. Stop spending major time on minor things

With the advent of smart devices, we find ourselves spending precious time online watching things that waste our time. Usually, we start watching these things with the best intention at heart, oftentimes we end up watching more than we were supposed to. Aristotle argued that too much (or too little) of a good thing is bad. I am not trying to make a case against smart devices, rather just want to remind you to use them in moderation.

Those times spent watching funny videos online will result in us blaming our unproductiveness on demanding bosses and high workload. If we are honest, we know it is hardly the case. According to the law of forced efficiency, there is always enough time to accomplish an important task. With that in mind, the next time you find yourself behind schedule, chances are you have been spending too much time on minor things.

“You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Buxton

3. Know your Einstein window

A normal fact of life is that we feel energized and productive during certain times of the day, and even certain days of the week. The common reaction is to engage in self-pity, instead of beating yourself up when you seem to be unable to concentrate, try to understand your patterns. Know your Einstein Window.

Basically, the Albert Einstein Window is that time of the day when you are most likely to experience a state of flow. Learn about yourself and schedule your most important and challenging work during that time. Like most people, our energy waxes and wanes throughout the day. The best strategy is to recognize these patterns and schedule your work accordingly.

4. Control your inputs

Some of us do have goals. But somehow because of the nature of our work, we see ourselves stuck responding to an influx of never-ending tasks competing for our attention. The solution—Control your inputs. Emails and other Information and technology need to be used with moderation or else, we will find ourselves endlessly firefighting throughout the day without having accomplished anything.

Set a time to read emails, or other text messages. Set an automated email response and don’t accept any calls unless it is absolutely important. If you have no control over what gets your attention, you will not have control of how happy and accomplished you are at the end of the day.

5. Maintain two to-do lists

With the best intention at heart, you decide to plan your day, you create a well-structured to-do list, but somehow, you seem to never accomplish much. You keep carrying around the same to-do list you wrote for a month with the same tasks only partially completed. How do you go about solving this issue? Keep two to-do lists; One to-do list will contain long-term and midterm goals and a second one will contain tasks that you will need to accomplish that particular day.

Carrying a to-do list with a task that will take a month to complete every day will do nothing but subconsciously affect your ability to get things done. You may even end up accomplishing irrelevant tasks that will give you a false sense of accomplishment. The goal you accomplish may not be what you should have been doing in the first place. Be strategic.

“Success is never getting to the bottom of your to-do list.” – Marissa Mayer

These are the five major time-management principles that I have learned from some of the busiest, yet most productive people in the world. Managing your time well, will give you a sense of fulfillment that will in return increase your wellbeing. After all, who wouldn’t like to have more time to spend with their loved ones or have more fun?

Read more: addicted2success.com