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Being productive #4

Concentrate on a single task


This is perhaps one of the greatest obstacles we face today, with so much technology and so many distractions. We’re listening to a video on YouTube while writing an e-mail, when suddenly a chat prompt pops up and we answer it. Then our smartphone vibrates in our pocket; just as soon as we respond to that message, we’re back at our computer, logging on to Facebook. Pretty soon thirty minutes have passed, and we’ve forgotten what the e-mail we were writing was supposed to be about.

We often think that combining tasks will save us time, but scientific evidence shows that it has the opposite effect. Even those who claim to be good at multitasking are not very productive. In fact, they are some of the least productive people. Our brains can take in millions of bits of information but can only actually process a few dozen per second. When we say we’re multitasking, what we’re really doing is switching back and forth between tasks very quickly. Unfortunately, we’re not computers adept at parallel processing. We end up spending all our energy alternating between tasks, instead of focusing on doing one of them well.

Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.

Technology is great, if we’re in control of it. It’s not so great if it takes control of us.

Let us take an example I am playing a video related studies on Youtube two things can happen at this scenario if I am disciplined and focused I will do my work and carry on with my studies otherwise the most probable thing will happen that is I will get distracted and will start seeing entertaining videos which are not useful for me. this is how our mind works it wants the most easy and enjoyable thing.

It has been scientifically shown that if we continually ask our brains to switch back and forth between tasks, we waste time, make more mistakes, and remember less of what we’ve done. It's not like we can't control our mind we have to train our mind so that we are able to manage our tasks and time.


  • Don't look at any kind of screen for the first hour you’re awake and the last hour before you go to sleep.

  • Turn off your phone before you achieve flow. There is nothing more important than the task you have chosen to do during this time. If this seems too extreme, enable the “do not disturb” function so only the people closest to you can contact you in case of emergency.

  • Designate one day of the week, perhaps a Saturday or Sunday, a day of technological “fasting,” making exceptions only for e-readers (without Wi- Fi) or MP3 players.

  • Read and respond to e-mail only once or twice per day. Define those times clearly and stick to them.

  • Try the Pomodoro Technique: Get yourself a kitchen timer (some are made to look like a Pomodoro, or tomato) and commit to working on a single task as long as it’s running. The Pomodoro Technique recommends 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest for each cycle, but you can also do 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. Find the pace that’s best for you; the most important thing is to be disciplined in completing each cycle.

  • Start your work session with a ritual you enjoy and end it with a reward.

  • Train your mind to return to the present when you find yourself getting distracted. Practice mindfulness or another form of meditation, go for a walk or a swim—whatever will help you get centered again.

  • Work in a space where you will not be distracted. If you find that your surroundings continue to distract you, keep looking until you find the right place.

  • Divide each activity into groups of related tasks, and assign each group its own place and time. For example, if you’re writing a magazine article, you could do research and take notes at home in the morning, write in the library in the afternoon, and edit on the couch at night.

  • Bundle routine tasks—such as sending out invoices, making phone calls, and so on—and do them all at once.


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