The One Thing You Should Do

Did you know that doing more than one thing at a time slows your progress? I know that may seem hard to believe but science confirms this. I understand that most of us feel more productive doing more than one or two things at a time—cooking and cleaning, texting and walking, writing and watching t.v. But have you noticed how inattentive or mentally stressed you feel sometimes because you’re tasking yourself with too many things at once?

In my new book, “Adulting As A Millennial: A Guide to Everything Your Parents Didn’t Teach You” I talk about “the one thing” rule that I learned from some of the experts. Doing one thing until I mastered it is what changed my life and grew my business. In my upcoming coaching program based on this rule, I will be coaching millennial adults in this exact technique. The goal is to create more prosperity in their careers, relationships, and health by doing one thing consistently at a time. (Stick around for more info on that soon!)

Asha Tarry
Asha Tarry, Life Coach

We often think if we’re doing several things at a time we’ll get more done and feel better about ourselves. But, to the contrary, task switching also known as multitasking increases the likelihood that you will make errors in your work, while simultaneously forcing your mind to work harder to concentrate on many things at once. Subsequently, this leads to mental exhaustion. Do you ever feel mentally spent but your body feels charged and ready to go? Remember this tip the next time you have a hundred things to do on your daily or weekly to-do lists.

I’ve coached clients in creating the method of quadrant tasking—a term I created from Stephen Covey’s method of putting your tasks into quadrants based on priority and lifestyle. Most times when they follow this rule of thumb it saves them time, energy and they feel more accomplished by the end of the day.

When they don’t follow this technique, they feel overwhelmed, tired and annoyed. Here’s an example of how to task yourself the priorities for the day or week into quadrants:

      1. Create a cube of 4 squares on your task list. Label each one based on the areas of your life you spend the most time focused on: Professional Work, Physical Health, Housekeeping, Personal Relationships.

      2. In each quadrant, place up to 3 or 4, but no more of the MOST important tasks to complete for each area by end of day or end of week. For example, with “Professional Work”- I. Set up an appt on my manager’s calendar in the morning. II. Check my emails for 30 min. III. Create my new project list. IV. Build the agenda for Tuesday’s office meeting. Sometimes, if I have a very efficient client, I will have them create morning and afternoon quadrants so that they maximize their morning routines and then save the less important or longer tasks for the afternoon. We decide how to delegate tasks based again on, priority and the amount of time it takes to do each. You can be selective with how you want to design yours. The goal is to become oriented to starting and completing just ONE thing at a time.

      3. When you’ve completed the task, cross it off your list and move on to the next thing. Do this until everything is crossed off. If you have “left-overs” task them over to the top of the new week’s list.

Begin to take note each day or each week as to how accomplished you feel. Evaluate the list, and if you want to add to the list, do so, but not before you cross off one task at a time. Simply replace the number of items, don’t make the list longer.

When I started doing this, it was a game changer for me. I felt more organized and productive than ever before. I got more done at a better pace than before. And I found myself able to do more with my day than I once had because my mind was so distracted by the number of items in my quadrants. For me, breaking the quadrants into morning and afternoon areas helped me more because I still did almost everything in each area. On those occasions, when I didn’t, I simply moved those things over to the next day, put them on top of my next day or week’s list and crossed them off as I went along. Start yours this week and let me know how doing one thing works for you.

Remember to drop me a comment below or on @ashatarrymental on IG or @ashatarry on Twitter.

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.