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Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies,
operating in the international trade, retail, leisure and investment markets.

The Forgotten Art of Single-tasking

The Forgotten Art of Single-tasking

Date: November 18th, 2016 Author: Giles Cadman Categories: Business

You’re probably reading this while eating lunch at your desk, skimming it on the train before work, or using this as a much-needed break between emails. I understand – in today’s professional environments, we're all busy.

But in a world of chronic-multitaskers, it’s time for you to take a step back and learn how to single-task. If you’re so far gone down the rabbit hole that you can’t recall the meaning of this, I’ll give you a brief explanation.

Single-tasking means to block everything out and to focus on one thing. No open email tab, no texting, just you and whatever task that must be accomplished. While it sounds crazy, it’s one of the best things you can do for your company. Here’s why, and how to do it.

Stop multitasking

The reason is simple: your body and mind aren’t designed to work that way. Having multiple tasks on the go actually reduces your efficiency! When you activate several parts of your brain at once, your brain distributes incoming blood to the different areas, which reduces your ability to accomplish a task to your full potential.

Decide what’s important

The key to single-tasking is to decide what’s important. It can be easy to get swayed from your to-do list with urgent emails and phone calls, leaving no time to accomplish high-priority tasks. 

Block off chunks of the day to dedicate to your important tasks and only check your email and return calls in between those chunks until it's finished.

Know it’s okay to be temporarily unavailable

When you’re a business owner, you have a lot of people that depend on you. Documents need to be authorized, your team may need advice on a client issue, or they just might want to chat over coffee. 

It’s okay to be unavailable for an hour or so. Some tasks need to be finished without a break in your mental thought process. Let your team know you’ll be temporarily unavailable and reassure them that your open-door policy still in-tact – but you need a bit of personal time. 

Unplug 

Cell phones are excellent pieces of technology and I wouldn't be able to run my business at this level without one. However, they can be a huge time waste if you keep checking texts and other notifications that pop up on your screen. Set your phone face-down on the other side of the office. This way, ou will have to make a conscious decision to get up, giving you more time to think-twice and make the right decision. 

I know single-tasking may sound daunting, but if you can get past the learning curve... you will find yourself accomplishing a lot more than before. 

Have a business question you'd like answered? Tweet me @gilescadman 

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