Is multi-tasking the height of productivity?

A person sitting at a desk with a laptop and writing in a notebook.

Gone are my days of multi-tasking, it’s time to mono-task.

What do you think of when someone says the word ‘productivity’? I think of someone typing away at a keyboard, writing notes, and working a million miles per hour to get a billion things done. I found it discouraging when this idea of being productive didn’t seem to fit my way of working. Sure, I felt super busy but I found that it was taking longer for me to go through one task than normal.

On one of my seemingly-endless scrolls through TikTok, I stumbled across a lady talking about mono-tasking. As the name implies, it’s about doing one thing at a time. It intrigued me at the time because it totally challenged my ideas of productivity, it seemed counter-intuitive. Through a quick google search, this method seemed promising. So, I gave it a go for myself.

I set out with a clear plan of action of what needed to be done. A few minutes in I already found my mind wandering. I started thinking about all the other projects that needed to be done, what my plans were for the next day etc. I shook the thoughts out of my head and carried on. After a bit more time, I started doubting if I was truly getting work done, what if I could be working on my assignment at the same time? I told myself to “trust the process” for the sake of this ‘experiment’ and continued on. An hour later with a couple more hurdles along the way, I could finally place a big tick on my to-do list. Okay, this is definitely something I need more practice with. Maybe in the future, I’ll try using the “pomodoro technique” and set a timer. Nevertheless, I found this method quite effective as I felt less overwhelmed compared to doing multiple tasks at once.

If multi-tasking is the thing for you, then props to you! I believe productivity trends may help bring new ideas to the community, but it’s more important to focus on what works best for every individual’s workflow, regardless of the trend of the time.

Do you prefer to mono-task or multi-task?

Tagged in What messes with your head, Productivity, study