Women often pride themselves for being great multitaskers, capable of doing many things at the same time. But multitasking is overrated and it decreases productivity rather than increasing it.

While it might feel like we are being more productive by doing two, three or four things at once. But because we are not completely paying attention to a task at hand we are more likely to miss out on important pieces of information, increase the probability of making errors (resulting in work needing to be redone), tasks actually take longer to complete and we are more stressed.

A much better approach to increasing your productivity is single tasking and practising the art of mindfulness. Our minds work best when we are focusing on one activity and a similar train of thoughts.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is ‘living in the moment’. Mindfulness means to be present, to be aware of this very moment. To stop living life on autopilot and to stop worrying about the past or the future.

It is much easier to pay attention when you practice mindfulness and are single tasking. The benefits are you remember more, you are more creative, you perform better, are less stressed and much more focused and therefore more productive.

Practice the art of mindfulness to be more productive

How to practice day-to-day mindfulness

You might be familiar with a formal mindfulness meditation practice and you might have your own formal mindfulness mediation practice. But mindfulness is not something we leave at the mediation cushion, it is something we should carry through to our day-to-day lives.

All the moments in your everyday life presents an opportunity for you to apply mindfulness and to be fully aware of the present moment.

Mindfulness is not about clearing the mind of thoughts or feelings, instead you are completely conscious and attentive of your experiences, thoughts and sensations. If you find yourself getting distracted or lost in far away thoughts, you might find it helpful to become aware of your physical senses to bring you back to the present moment.

5 Tips to work mindfully

  1. Prioritise your tasks by importance
  2. Set your intention to do one thing at time
  3. Block out time for your different tasks
  4. Set a time limit for specific tasks
  5. Reduce distractions

Mindfulness in action

So today is the day you need to write your blog and you know you get easily distracted. Set aside the morning to complete your blog. Reduce your distractions by switching off your phone, shut down email, Facebook, Twitter etc. Set a timer for 2 hours to write your blog. Get writing. Do nothing else but write. Resist getting up for a cup of tea. Timer goes off. You’re done. Next you need to select an image to accompany your blog. Set your timer for 20 minutes, search through your favourite stock library, don’t get distracted and off track by looking at other interesting images, focus solely on selecting an image for your blog. You get the idea ….