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The Multitasking Myth. Five Ways to Improve Your Focus, No Matter Where You Work

Want to get more done each day? Do your brain a favor: stop multitasking. Studies show that multitasking can negatively impact your brain’s ability to filter and organize information—these are two very important components of critical thinking! Some studies suggest that multitasking even leads to mental exhaustion and weakens our ability to control our emotional responses. 

Just because you are capable of accomplishing multiple tasks at once does not mean you should! Our brains are wired to execute one task at a time. These five habits can help you harness your brain’s full capacity, hone your focus, and boost your productivity:

Focus on One Thing: Take your journey one step at a time. Break your daily goals and demands into smaller, achievable plans of attack. If you are preoccupied thinking about steps 8 and 9 while still working on step 1, you are creating unnecessary distractions. Focus on the quality of each step you take. Even the greatest achievements are the product of many smaller actions, made over time. 

Make a List: You likely have many worries and to-do’s bouncing around inside your head. A list will help reduce your anxiety and get your thoughts in order. The simple habit of list-making has enabled millions of people to prioritize the tasks that are most important in their day and to their long-term goals. 

Stay on Track: Once you know what you need to accomplish during your week (thanks to your list!), you can begin blocking out time to tackle each item with your full attention. For instance, instead of pausing to check your email every ten minutes, designate specific times of your day to check your inbox. This may range from once every two hours to twice an hour. The same approach can go for follow-up calls, daily errands, and your self-care routine. 

A Healthy Social Media Life: Just as it is essential to make time to tackle your goals and responsibilities, making time to connect with friends and family online can be a key ingredient in a happy, fulfilled life as well. While staying engaged in the lives of those you care about is important, if you have a habit of regularly checking your social media, you may be depleting your mental juice and hurting your brain’s ability to focus. Limit your time on social media during working hours and coordinate your daily schedule to strike a balance between your professional and personal life.  

Calm Your Mind: While being open to new possibilities is a must, be wary about overloading your plate or putting too much pressure on yourself. If your mind feels like it always buzzes from one thought or concern to the next, you may have a bad case of mental multitasking! A calm, quiet mind will help you drastically improve your focus. Mindfulness and breathing exercises can help you retrain your mind to work with you, not against you. 

Improve how you work and make wise decisions for the future. Find more tips for professional and personal growth at the Syncis Money Blog