It has been a long time since I posted anything on Medium. Though I wanted to, my circumstances didn’t allow me to pursue my writing career. The past two years, since the inception of the Covid19 pandemic, can be called the darkest phase of my life. I was down emotionally, physically and psychologically. I didn’t have a job (I had quit) and depended on my parents financially and emotionally. I had started developing health issues as well.
All these issues, coupled with the widespread pandemic, plunged me into a bottomless abyss from which I didn’t have the strength to come out then. Whenever I cried and sought help, my mother would constantly end her talk with the saying, ‘Even the darkest night must end at dawn, so don’t lose hope.’
Ok. Enough of my preamble. Let me cut to the chase.
However, my personal crisis taught me one thing: It is to do whatever we do, one thing at a time. Back then, as I didn’t have a finite solution for my problems, I simply started doing whatever I did, focusing on only one task at a time.
Guess what…though my problems didn’t go away, I noticed I was becoming a lot more productive and did everything comparatively better. I also understood another thing: I am not cut out for multitasking.
So, in this article, I would like to provide some aspects that helped me focus on a single task and become more productive.
1. Accept that multitasking isn’t for you
Yeah, I am repeating it.
You would have probably seen numerous celebrities have raved about the importance of multitasking in countless interviews.
I, too, have seen and diligently followed many multitasking hacks that would skyrocket my productivity and sharpen my abilities.
Alas, nothing of that sort happened to me. All that I did was simply switch between multiple tasks simultaneously, which resulted in me getting burned out and exhausted.
I have seen some of my friends excel at multitasking. They are capable of juggling multiple issues at the same time. However, recently, I came across an article that seems to reiterate my view that by multitasking, we are simply shuttling between issues without paying close attention to either of them.
Irrespective of whether multitasking is good, I can only say one thing: if you can’t handle multiple issues simultaneously, please don’t worry. Not everyone is adept at everything they do. Learn from your previous mistakes and try focusing on one thing at a time.
Take baby steps towards improving your productivity. It is ok if you falter. Trust me. I have fallen down multiple times without knowing how to get up. You will eventually figure out what works for you.
2. Start your day by focussing on smaller issues
Yep, you have read that right.
Let us assume that you have entered your cabin and already have a lot on your plate. You have emails to answer, tasks to assign, coordinate with other people, juggle between clients, etc.
So, what will you do? Which one would you take care of first?
Start by focussing on minor issues that can be completed within a few minutes. Solving problems that don’t require a chunk of your time is simply relieving yourself to focus on more significant issues.
I did just that.
During the darkest phase of my life, I simply started concentrating on the minor tasks one by one. Trying to solve issues one at a time will not only allow you to focus more on the most significant matters. Still, it will also relax your mind from unnecessary tensions.
Try focusing one at a time. You will understand what I mean.
3. Focus on improving just ONE aspect of your life at a time
I know. This might sound weird to you.
Many productivity hacks of our decade have taught us about simultaneously improving multiple dimensions of our life.
But, have we improved the quality of our life by trying those hacks?
The answer may be a YES or may be a NO.
For me, it is a NO.
But, some persons have certainly benefitted from those hacks, and it is just that I am not one among those elite few.
One day when I was ranting about this to my mother, she said
‘Look at this, Gayathri. You can’t run a marathon, read a book, cook a delicious meal, help your parents, do an intense workout, or find a job simultaneously. You have to focus one at a time. That doesn’t mean that you have to rigidly concentrate only on a single aspect and leave everything hanging up on the wall. Try improving every aspect by prioritizing your time. You will see the difference.’
Since then, I have been trying to divide my time by prioritizing my tasks for a day. I am by no means a pro in this. I am still learning because every day comes with new problems.
But, I believe I will learn to categorize my time eventually.
So, these are some of the aspects I wanted to share. I am sure there are many other things I have left out, but all I want to say is this: take one step at a time and don’t be afraid to fall.
We all fall down in life. We all rise again!!
Hamilton, J. (2008, October 02). Think you’re multitasking? think again. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://www.npr.org/2008/10/02/95256794/think-youre-multitasking-think-again