ZEN TIP TUESDAY #33
This week’s Zen Tip Tuesday (ZTT) is again written by myself! This will be the last Gem of Zen for 2019, but ZTT will continue on an ad hoc basis in the new year and throughout 2020.
If you would like to contribute your very own ‘Gem of Zen’ as part of the Zen Tip Tuesday series please go here to find out how (you might also like to visit all the Gems of Zen we have so far). I would love to hear from you!
One thing that can hold us back from achieving a sense of zen is our busy minds and busy days with long ‘to-do lists’ (both mental and written). There are a few things we can do to help ourselves with this, but we’re going to talk about just one of them today, and that is to focus on just one thing at a time!
MULTI-TASKING IS NOT GOOD FOR US
Multi-tasking has become something we wear as like a badge of honour if we are accomplished at it. Women predominantly are masters at multi-tasking, but at what cost? In actual fact, it’s been proven that constantly trying to do multiple tasks at once leads to a drop in productivity and lowers your work quality. Multitasking can also be harmful for our brains, and leads to memory problems, increased distractibility and more!
Our brains are designed to focus on one thing at a time, and bombarding them with information only slows them down.
Probably one of the most damaging effects of multitasking is that you’re missing out on the ‘moment’ because you’re distracted. Zen is never reached when we are in a constant state of pressurised flux.
TIPS FOR HOW TO FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME
- Consider incorporating Meditation into your daily routine – Meditation has the power to help you focus, improve your concentration, and even be used as a tool to overcome procrastination.
- Prioritise Tasks – Write everything you need to do down in a list. Get it all out of your mind. What needs to be done immediately? Today? Tomorrow? Next week? Within the month? Not urgent? Break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable bite-sized tasks.
- Do the creative stuff first – Mental focus is stronger in the mornings, so it’s generally best to do the creative tasks and those that might need sharper mental focus first up. Move on to the easier tasks later in the day.
- Eliminate Distractions – Switch off devices, close down the tabs in your browser, log out of Facebook etc.
- Train your mind – Focus takes training – especially if you’re a reforming multi-tasker. Set reasonable time-frames for yourself, then take a short break (e.g. 50 mins focus, 10 mins break). Don’t put pressure on yourself to sit in focus for hours and hours as it won’t work.
- Have regular breaks – regular breaks are essential to maintain focus and productivity. Get up, walk around, get outdoors, stretch your body, etc.
- Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. So as you can see, Mindfulness can help with focus and concentration. It also helps to reduce stress and creates new neuronal pathways in the brain.
BENEFITS OF FOCUSSING ON ONE THING AT A TIME
- More success with less stress
- Improved productivity and quality of work
- Tasks get completed much more quickly
- Less Stress + Improved Productivity & Quality of Work + Quickly Completed Tasks + More Success = Happier You = A more ZEN you!
Doing just one thing at a time helps you remember more, get more done in less time, de-stress, bring more attention to your work, and work smarter, instead of just harder. Note too that by ‘work’ I’m not just talking about paid jobs (workforce). I’m also talking about all the jobs/tasks/chores that are in our day to day lives.
Finally, I wanted to share this list of Zen Things that centre around doing one thing at a time:
Are you a multi-tasker? I used to be but not quite so much these days. Have I convinced you to switch to being a ‘single-tasker’ now?
Ciao for now,