Look, you’re working hard. You’re juggling school, maybe a job, an internship, extracurriculars, clubs, events, and trying to have a social life. On any given day, how many things would you say you’re trying to manage? Like, a thousand? Well, we want to give you permission to set some of those things down. Just for a day.
Feb 22 is Single Tasking Day, which is a day dedicated to (just for a little bit) reversing some of this GO, GO, GO mindset we’ve all developed as modern peoples. Most of us feel like if we aren’t doing 100 things at the same time, then are we even really accomplishing anything? And that’s not always a super healthy way to go about life. Talk about burnout. Anyway, here are some benefits of and reasons that you should focus on just one thing every once and a while.
1) Single-tasking is also called “monotasking” and it’s been around for a long time
So, what is it? Basically, single tasking just means taking on one project or task at a time for an extended period of time — in this case, one whole day. You start your day with one challenge in mind (say a presentation you have due soon) and you work on that thing until it’s done.
2) It isn’t about not taking breaks
We like this idea because it’s better than just sitting down at your desk and not letting yourself get up until it’s done. Single-tasking promotes problem solving and productivity. You’re supposed to break your task down into smaller chunks that you can then handle throughout the day.
3) It forces you to think critically
Sometimes it’s easy to think, “This is really hard. I’ll come back to it later,” and sometimes that’s honestly the best thing to do. But other times, it’s stimulating and challenging to our brain and critical thinking skills to instead say, “This is hard. I’m overwhelmed. Let’s break this down into smaller puzzles that I can work on slowly.” I definitely don’t suggest trying this the night before a major assignment is due, but if you’ve got some time to work on something, why not?
4) It’s incredibly rewarding
Imagine this: you wake up one morning and look at your to-do list, you pick one project from that list, break it down into smaller tasks to do throughout the day, slowly check them off your list, problem solve when you need to problem solve, you stick with it and figure it out, you give it your entire attention, and you give it the care, detail, and devotion it actually deserves. You focus on no other major task during the day. By the end of the day, you’ve done it. Not only that, but you’ve done it wholly, completely, and probably even better than you thought you could in the first place. You walk away with a project you can be immensely proud of.
5) You’ll (hopefully) end your day with a clearer mind
You know those days, the ones that happen far too often, where you lay down to go to sleep and realize you didn’t finish one single thing? I mean, you did a whole bunch of stuff, but what did you really do, ya know? If you can allow yourself to single-task from time to time, you can push some of those nasty distractions to the side for a little bit and know that you accomplished something really important today. And you can be so proud of yourself for that.
5 ½) Don’t worry, you’ll go right back to the hustle
Many of us (myself included) thrive on the hustle — the chaotic busyness which keeps us in motion. And that’s okay. You don’t need to feel bad about that. It’s kind of just how life operates in 2022. But sometimes we need a break from that. So, the next time you’re a little burnt out, try to just focus on one thing at a time. Then, you can go right back to juggling.