I’ve been hearing more and more about how it’s better to unitask (focus on one thing) instead of constantly trying to juggle multiple things at once. Although this conflicts with what I’ve become accustomed to, it seems that my body is telling me that unitasking truly is the way to go.
I’ve recently met a few people that are quite focused and manage to set aside time to participate in activities and pursue goals that they are passionate about. They have graciously shared a few tips with me. For example, one sharp and determined young professional shared how splitting her work day and personal life into sections has been helpful for her: She focuses on three main tasks during the work day and three main tasks outside of work. She also takes the time to let her colleagues and husband know what her goals are for the day, since this also contributes to how successful she will be at staying focused. For the past two weeks, I have been trying out something similar. It has been very helpful at work (my list ranges between 4-6 main tasks). However, I am still working out how to best incorporate this into my personal life- I am at a place in my life where I want to leave space to invest in my own well-being so that I can make the biggest impact possible, while also creating (as well as maintaining) the space needed to develop relationships and connect with people that inspire me (and that I can hopefully inspire too). I am still working on this but I think I am making good progress.
What have been some benefits of unitasking? The main benefit I would say is being reminded of how complex and interconnected my priorities are. We all have priorities, even if we are unsure of how to communicate them sometimes. Unitasking has also helped me see that there are specific people that I would like to spend more time with, learn from, or serve as a resource to. Sometime it feels as if the older we get the more difficult it is to maintain and develop quality relationships that result in growth. I think unitasking will help me to better see the initiators (individuals that are consistent with reaching out to others in various relationships) as well as the responders (those who are willing and able to engage with initiators). Unitasking also brings up the question of how active I should be on social media. I have made some attempts (though I haven’t been as successful lately) at limiting my activity outside of specific groups and pages on Facebook. I love to share information for professional and personal purposes but am not always sure of how useful or necessary my content is. I removed the Twitter app from my phone so that I could add in a different app that better aligns with what my goals are right now. I have also started to limit my involvement in groups and organizations.
The only thing I am worried about is losing flexibility: I have to be flexible in the workplace. I also have to be flexible in relationships. I guess I need both: unitasking and flexibility.
Questions to ponder:
When you think about unitasking what comes to mind?
Do you think that unitasking could help improve your overall performance (i.e. work, hobbies, relationships, reaching specific goals, improving listening skills, having energy to initiate more)?
Do you think that unitasking and flexibility complement each other? Additionally, when you contemplate what flexibility might look like, what comes to mind (i.e. do you think of being flexible with yourself, others, processes, etc.)?
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