What is Single-Tasking? The Benefits of Focusing on One Thing at a Time

Photo by David Bartus

In today’s fast-paced world, multitasking has become not just acceptable but often expected of us. Some people even make a point of bragging about their ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. However, research suggests that multitasking can actually be detrimental to mental health and ultimately make us less productive.

So, we’d like to propose an alternative—single-tasking. Single tasking is the practice of focusing on one task at a time, and only moving onto something else when the initial task is complete. Read on to learn more about the benefits of single-tasking and how it can improve your wellbeing.

Reduces stress and anxiety

It’s actually not possible for our brains to focus on several things at the same time, and so what we tend to consider multitasking is actually just switching from one task to another at a relatively rapid pace. This can become overwhelming and exhausting, and we may end up rushing through each task just to find a bit of relief. By focusing on one thing at a time, we can reduce the mental load on our brains and feel more relaxed and in control.

Increases productivity

When we try to multitask, we often end up making more mistakes than we would focusing on one thing at a time. We then need to spend more time and energy correcting these mistakes. By giving our full attention to one task at a time, we can work more efficiently and save time for other things.

Improves focus

Constant switching between tasks causes our brains to become accustomed to getting distracted, making it more difficult to stay with a particular task. By practicing focusing on one thing at a time, we can train our brains to concentrate for longer periods and improve our ability to focus in all areas.