By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I shared how to begin single-tasking focus and I answered some great questions.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Single-Tasking Focus (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions on how to do single-tasking focus at work, staying focused amid distractions, being fully present, prioritizing tasks that you have procrastinated on, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
Learning the Habit of Single-Tasking Focus
- It helps us to focus on important tasks
- For less important tasks, it helps us to be in the moment with them, rather than rushing to jump to the other
- It helps us feel less distracted and spread out, stressed or overwhelmed
- It helps us to dive deeply into something, rather than just giving it cursory attention
- We get caught up in quick-task mode, switching and rushing
- Itâ€™s hard to switch to a longer focus mode when youâ€™re in quick-task mode
- Our minds get the urge to pull away, to check on things – mental habit weâ€™ve developed
- We feel uncertainty or discomfort, and use distractions to deal with that
- It feels productive to be busy
How to develop the habit of single-tasking focus:
- Create a practice time each day
- Make it a sacred space
- Make it enjoyable
- Change your mode of thinking â€¦ take a few breaths, feel centered in the moment, set an intention
- Practice staying
- Practice pouring yourself entirely into this
- Practice noticing when you have the urge to switch, and staying with that urge instead of following it mindlessly
- Practice coming back
- Practice loving the moment, with gratitude
- Give yourself encouragement
- Learn to open up and enjoy the moment, rest in it
- Set reminders – give yourself an encouraging note
- Practice in small doses at first, donâ€™t make it something you hate or have to endure
- Expand to other parts of your life
Part II: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- How do I expand these to the workspace with a lot of external distractions?
- What benefits have you seen from getting better at deep focus? Then vs. now?
- For children, is it best to model single tasking or teach them to do it? Or a combination of both? I’ve noticed my 11yr old seems to like the idea that she’s “multitasking”…
- I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo. It’s been great the first couple weeks but the last three days I’ve been in a slump (Nano is hard!) and feeling discouraged. Any advice?
- I’ve seen your morning routine, but do you have any tips for the afternoon and later in the day?
- When you have to do work that is necessary, but not something you love, how do you approach staying focused?
- I notice fully being present more difficult whenever there is something unresolved running in the background of the mind e.g. something don’t know what to do about. Any thoughts?
- How to do you recommend balancing and prioritizing tasks that you have procrastinated on ? I find it hard to single-task and stick to a task I have to do for someone else vs my own work?