The Secret To Higher Productivity: Doing One Thing At A Time

articles energy updates Oct 26, 2020

What is the one thing that you desire the most in life? Practically everyone has their idea of what they want, but they all point to the same idea—the concept of success. 

You can be who you want to be in life as long as you know how to focus on one thing. This idea may come as a surprise considering the fast-paced multi-tasking life everyone struggles to live by. 

Some people think that doing multiple things simultaneously will bring them the success they want in life. But successful people say that you should be ready to do one thing at a time. 

The book "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan reveals this simple idea. But do not be fooled. Putting your heart and soul on one subject matter at a time is easier said than done. It takes a lot of courage and hard work to make it happen. 

The beginning will always be a struggle, but once you have incorporated it in your life, everything will come easy. 

Why Is Single Tasking So Difficult To Do?

You must have heard of the idea of single-tasking to replace the common practice of multi-tasking. While it may seem like a simple idea of focusing your attention on one task, it's difficult for people to do because human beings are naturally fickle. Their desires continuously change. 

People want to pursue things even before they can't finish their goals. It is like there is an invisible force within that is always trying to confuse them. As a result, they do not know what they want to do. 

Instead of focusing all their attention on one thing at a time, they end up juggling different ideas, thoughts, and multiple goals all at the same time. It is easy to believe that they can multi-task considering how others are doing it, but is it worth it?

There is a considerable difference between the idea of what you know and what you do. What you know focuses on one idea alone, while what you do could mean doing several things at the same time. Your goal may be to improve yourself, but if you do many things simultaneously, are you working to help yourself?

The thought of working on a single task may have crossed your mind a couple of times. The reason why you are not able to carry it out is that you don't know how to stick to it. 

Learning The Art of Dealing With Only One Thing

People often assume that single-tasking is all about focusing only on one thing in your life, and that's it. But single-tasking is not about that at all. Instead, it is about being smart enough to know what you need to pursue first and what happens next. 

You work hard for what you want in life. You can achieve everything that you want, but you can't do it all at the same time. While you want to build a career, start a family, homeschool your children, be back in shape, and compete in a marathon, it is impossible to do all these things at the same time. 

You can take a lifetime to do all those. At the moment, what is essential is for you to identify which one you should be working on first. Stick to one major priority in life. Categorize your life if you need to. Career, health, money, learning, and relationships—all these are aspects of your life that you want to improve. 

But what does it mean to deal with only one thing? Simply put, you have to train yourself not to do more than one thing at a time. It is to assist your kids in homeschool practices or take on that special course you want. 

It also means submitting yourself to learning one skill at a time. You can choose—are you going to learn how to save money, or are you going to learn how to grow your money? Either way, you are going to help improve yourself. 

When it comes to health, you can choose whether you build on energy or work on your endurance. All these require you to make a choice based on your priority. There is no need to compare your life to how others live theirs. 

Every person has his own way of compartmentalizing their lives. In the end, what matters is that you are able to categorize your own life, put a structure to it, and follow what needs to be done. The lack of structure will pull you down. 

Without the structure, your life will be in chaos. When there is chaos, there is everything on your plate at the same time. That's not good for you. 

Learning To Manage Your Desires

The first step to putting that structure in your life is determining what you want. Set your goals and pick one of your priorities. Unless you have trained your mind to focus, you won't be able to work on making smart choices. 

You must work on your focus first. Otherwise, you will set the goal, work on it for a week, and go back to your old ways. This cycle is going to go on and on until you break the habit. How do you do it? How do you train the mind to focus?

While there are many ways this can be done, the most effective is the practice of mindfulness and meditation. These two can work wonders and put the focus back into your life. Apart from that, the practice of meditation makes you aware of what is happening in your life. 

Mindfulness and meditation allow you to gain insight. It puts you back in control of your desires, allowing you to appreciate what you have. 

Focus is not about not wanting to do more. Instead, it is about managing your desires and learning how to set your goals. Aim for great things and achieve one thing at a time. 

In the end, you will realize the true value that comes with single-tasking. It is all about being in control of the moment. 

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