This is a verb which is the antonym of multi-task. We all know about multi-tasking. That highly praised and coveted skill, wherein one does numerous things simultaneously. Dictionary dot com explains it this way, "Often used of humans in the same meaning it has for computers, to describe a person doing several things at once." Last I checked, we're not machines.
I've spent a number of years being quite a proficient multi-tasker and being very proud of that fact. However, somewhere around the time I entered my fourth decade here on earth, it seemed that my skill was diminishing. Instead of being an efficient multi-tasker, I'd sort of become a confused pinball, bouncing around from one thing to the next, not entirely sure where I was headed next. While I thought this malady may be age-related, lately I've been encountering women in all walks and ages of life (including the less than 40 crowd) who suffer from pinball-itis.
A friend and I have discussed this matter and have concluded that multi-tasking isn't always all it's cracked up to be. If anything, it often leaves us distracted and addled. Not only that, it's a great way to do only half of about 20 or 30 things in any given day, yet never complete anything.
I've decided the antidote to multi-tasking is to focus on one thing at a time. Since there's currently no buzzword, I've dubbed it uni-tasking. I'm finding there are plenty of benefits to uni-tasking.
- You can actually start AND compete something (in less than weeks, months, or years). This leads to a feeling of accomplishment, which has the added benefit of motivating you to move onto another task.
- Your thoughts and imagination can flourish as your brain is only thinking about one thing at a time.
- If you're a list maker, you'll be able to check something off, not merely mark it as "in progress" and carry it over to the next day . . . and the next . . . and the next.
- You can fully participate in the activity because your mind isn't worried about all the other simultaneous tasks going on.
- There's a certain peacefulness that comes from being single-minded.
- When someone talks to you, you'll probably be able to really "hear" what's being said, because there's be room in your brain for their words.
So, slow down, take a chance and give uni-tasking a try. You may find that you like it. You may even do it again. And again.
*** For more along this though, check out this post at Seek First His Kingdom.