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How To UniTask.. Do One Thing At A Time

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MoHow   Posted By   Dr. MO   Do you recognize this scenario..

You are working on five different projects right now. Your phone rings and it’s a friend asking you to help with something he’s doing. You go to the office and your supervisor gives you  two things that need to get done today. You open your computer and there are nearly one hundred new emails in your inbox. You are swamped by what you have on your plate.

If you want to simplify your life and lower your feeling of overwhelm, here are 10 tips on Unitasking…organizing yourself to do one thing at a time.
1.    Set up to-do lists for different parts of your life (work, home, friends) .
2.    Set up a recording system (such as a notebook) for instant notes on what needs to be done.
3.    Create a physical and email inbox so that all incoming stuff is gathered together in one place (one for paper stuff, one for digital).
4.    Plan your day in blocks of time, with open blocks in between for urgent stuff that comes up. You might try one-hour blocks, or half-hour blocks, depending on what works for you. Or try this: 40 minute blocks, with 20 minutes in between them for miscellaneous tasks.
5.    Start your day, by work on your Most Important Task. Don’t do anything else until this is done. Give yourself a short break, and then start on your next Most Important Task. If you can get 2-3 of these done in the morning, the rest of the day is gravy.
6.    Eliminate distractions. When you are working on a task in a time block shut off your phone, cell phone, email, and the Internet if possible. Focus on that one task, and try to get it done without worrying about other stuff.
7.    Breathe if you feel the urge to check your email or switch to another task, and stop yourself. Breathe deeply. Re-focus yourself. Get back to the task at hand.
8.    If other things arrive while you’re working, put them in the inbox, or take a note of them in your recording system. Get back to the task at hand.
9.    Go over your notes and inbox when you’ve completed the task at hand, adding the tasks to your to-do lists and re-figuring your schedule if necessary. Process your email and other inboxes at regular and pre-determined intervals.
10.  Take breaks, deep breaths, and stretch, regularly.

Enjoy your life. Go outside, and appreciate nature. When you do this will be able to maintain momentum by prioritizing, and being disciplined.

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2 Responses to “How To UniTask.. Do One Thing At A Time”

  1. Jason Ellis January 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Thanks Joel – very refreshing to hear someone who doesn’t spout the endless necessity of Multitasking :) In fact, I think the phrase (“multitasking”) has become so regurgitated over the years that unitasking as you put it is actually more insightful.

    It so much more rewarding to set the bar of a goal a little bit lower at first so that when you achieve it, you can cross it off your list and gain the confidence (and momentum as it were) to go after something bigger and better. I think you illustrate this point well here – whether on purpose of not 😉 Thanks for the boost!

    • mo January 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

      Hi Jason… thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’d like to find out more about your website. Please email me… drmo@maintainmomentum.com..

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