So much of the entrepreneurship world preaches about “hustle,” “grinding it out,” and “doubling down.” Basically, list any term that sounds like Hulk is giving a TedTalk, and you’ve nailed modern entrepreneurship. Although the general work ethic to go above and beyond is common sense for anyone looking to build something, we tend to relate these terms to multitasking. Doing the most may not be the healthiest or even the most productive way to operate.
Enter onto the scene the newest buzzword, “monotasking.”
Monotasking is about being super intentional with what you have right in front of you, and zeroing in on one task at a time. Not, you know, twenty tasks at the same time. Monotasking is the present of having a presence and being laser focused. It’s the anti-hero to modern entrepreneurship hustle-core and the solution to chaotic overwhelm.
Here are some tips on how to start monotasking:
1.) Figure out your peak working hours, and revamp your schedule accordingly.
Have an honest conversation with yourself (and your team) about when are you operating at your most productive self, and schedule your day in time blocks.
Experts say you should schedule your day like a skyscraper. “Schedule your deep work in 2 to 4-hour blocks that anchor your day, and gather the other peripheral activities into set batches that you can knock out together.”
2.) Eat the frog.
Doing the things you dread most first thing makes the rest of the day so much more enjoyable. Dread invoicing? Logging analytics? Sending 100+ outreach emails? Do it first. Otherwise, you’ll have those have-to-do-tedious-tasks lingering around you all day long, and who can honestly focus with that?
Bonus points if you can batch eat all the frogs within the first hour of your workday while your brain is still waking up. It’s like your sober self is waking up to a freshly cleaned apartment from not-so-sober self’s cleaning spree the night before. Eat the frog. Thank u, next.
3.) Respect your own time.
Treat your time blocks like one-on-one client meetings. Would you really move onto another project or topic halfway through a pitch meeting? No, you wouldn’t.
By respecting your own time like you would a client’s allows you to break the habit of letting yourself get distracted. If you think of something else that needs to get done while working on a task, write it down on a sheet of paper next to you and get back to whatever it is you were working on. When the scheduled time block is up, move on. Don’t be afraid to cut meetings, phone calls, time blocks short so they don’t run into the next appointment.
Monotasking takes some serious getting used to especially for those fellow people-pleasers and reformed multitaskers out there. However, when you can hold yourself accountable (even with just 1-hour, batched frog-eating time block or 2-hour deep work session), it can start to change your work life and your productivity levels. By sticking with your schedule and minimizing distractions, it allows you to be 100% present and give your undivided attention. No more scatterbrain and no more regret of lost time.