Minimalism's Sibling - Singular Focus
While the demands of work and personal life have us all feeling like we have to do more than one thing at once, you may not realize this, but it is damaging productivity. Studies have shown that 98% of our population doesn’t multi-task that well. While we may think we are efficient on the surface, we are limiting our productivity by as much as 40%.
Let me reintroduce you to a concept that you may have forgotten about, focus. While the mighty badge of honor is "busy," many successful people have credited their success to one thing, not deviating from their primary goal. Singular focus can give you positive benefits including the ability to concentrate and visualize your consciousness on a subject, topic, or task to finish and master each one to the best of your knowledge. If you think about how many times you've been having a conversation with someone and your phone rings, or the food arrives at the table, all of these things are distractions until you begin to act on them, and then you find yourself multitasking, which gives you your busy badge. What you may not realize, it the task of being busy is doing more harm than good.
As you continue to down the path of simplifying your life, you also need to work on streamlining and simplifying your focus. If you've spent the time downsizing your mental and material possessions, why not work on your tasks at hand?
What to do? What to do?
1. Understand your work style and your peak hours. For me, loud 70's classic rock between the hours of 8:30 am and 11:30 am is my sweet spot. I can achieve more in this time frame than any other time of the day. Knowing when you are at your peak of productivity can help you hone in on working on a singular focus because you are less likely to mind wander.
2. Allow your brain to have rest days. Your mind, like your biceps, is a muscle. If you continue to overuse or exercise you risk burn out, soreness and exhaustion. If you are always working on multiple things and you don't take time to meditate or focus on your breathing, you won't be at your best.
3. Make a to-do list, with time estimates. If you want your to-do list to be productive, make sure that you have a time estimated around each task. This can help you mentally prepare for the time you need to focus on what you are doing knowing that you have time set aside for the rest of your tasks.
As you continue your journey to master the type of minimalism you want, start your journey toward better brain health by adopting a singular focus. Remember that your brain is wired for broad and innovative thinking, but you can't achieve that if you're trying to overuse it and make it go multiple directions at once.