How many screens are you looking at right now? How many tabs are open in your browser? How many tasks are you trying to complete at once?
If you’re like most Americans, the answer is probably too many. In an increasingly digital world, we’re all constantly multi-tasking. And why not? When you can write an email while streaming a webinar and taking a call from a client, focusing solely on one thing at a time can feel unproductive.
Multi-tasking, unfortunately, has a downside. Consider the phrase “a jack of all trade is a master of none.” When you’re juggling too many balls, you’re bound to drop one or two. At the very least, you may find yourself struggling to perform as well as you could when only focusing on one task at a time. Anyone who has ever tried to cook a complicated recipe while watching the kids or reply to a text while driving knows that there can be poor outcomes when you’re dividing your attention.
Sure, multi-tasking used to be all the rage, but studies have shown that it’s not actually as effective as you might think. Multi-tasking can actually have negative effects, and more and more experts are recommending that we quit.
As people become more aware of just how inefficient multitasking can be, single-tasking has grown in popularity. Though the phrase may seem silly at first, the philosophy can revolutionize the way you work and play. In an office where phones are constantly ringing, customers are stopping by for help and your employees are scrambling to tackle the items on their to-do lists, single-tasking can be a refreshing option.
Imagine if you were just answering emails. How long might it take for you to finish? With no other distractions, this daily chore can be managed in minutes. Rather than pausing to answer a call or fax a document to a colleague, you can devote all your energy to a single task. You’ll be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you’re not juggling multiple tasks.
Of course, no one can single-task without some help. By surrounding yourself with other single-taskers, you can ensure that everyone is focused and devoted to their specialty. This results in greater efficiency across the organization. With your phone calls handled by a company like MAP Communications, all of your employees can single-task and manage their duties with precision.
How to Ease into Single-Tasking
After a lifetime of multitasking, single-tasking can be hard to do. Ease in with the Pomodoro Technique. It works like this: focus on a single task for 25 minutes. Reward yourself with five minutes of checking social media, taking a walk or grabbing a snack. Then get back into it by spending another 25 minutes on another single task. Segmenting your day this way can result in major productivity. If you still find yourself tempted to multitask during these segments, consider installing a browser lock that blocks out the most alluring websites competing for your attention.
If this technique doesn’t work for your situation, consider blocking off an hour of your week to dedicate to a specific project instead. Make a to-do list and keep track of which tasks are more important to you. While you slowly chip away at the list, keep that blocked off hour in mind. Save tasks that don’t rely on others to be completed for that block of time. When the time comes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how efficient you can be with no distractions to pull you away from your work.
Is Your Phone Making You Lose Focus?
Another way to ensure maximum efficiency? Turn off your phone. Okay, okay: maybe you can’t turn off your phone altogether, but consider keeping it on silent. A two-second distraction like a phone ringing or even vibrating can be enough to pull your focus away from the task at hand. Reach over to silence a ringing phone and you might notice a notification that needs attending to, which further pulls you away from your work. When possible, turn off cell phone notifications, too.
If calls are to blame for your lack of focus, consider partnering with a company like MAP Communications. We specialize in remote receptionist and customer support solutions, allowing you to focus on what matters most in your day. Our highly trained, experienced staff are experts in taking care of your callers so you can focus on the things you’re uniquely qualified to handle. Because we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can rest assured knowing that your phones are covered. With MAP on the job, your entire staff will find themselves single-tasking soon enough!
We’re offering a free trial of our live answering services, designed to give you a peek into what life can be like in a single-task world. Imagine how much more you’ll accomplish with our professional team standing by to help streamline office processes. To learn more, simply contact us today!
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