Image: Evgeny Karandaev / 123RF Stock Photo

We lead busy lives and find ways to multitask to save time. But this might not be as good for you as even a few-second distraction could turn into a 10-minute one. Instead, we should be monotasking and just do one thing at a time. Here’s five ways to help you do it.

Plan Your Day

Once you have a to-do list, you’ll have more discipline to do the tasks that have been scheduled. This is because your work for the day has been stated very clearly, so you’ll be inclined to follow that schedule. Whether it’s a meeting, a presentation or some important market research that your boss wants you to do, your brain will be focussed on what you have to do now and next, until the day is over.

Don’t Reply Now

Emails can be a big distraction at work and replying to them takes up more time than you’d think. So, instead of typing a response to every email as soon as it pings, set time aside to do them all at once. Block off this time in your to-do list, perhaps every hour, or more frequently, depending on the number of emails you usually have to deal with.

Turn It Off

Mobile phones are our biggest distraction so put it aside while you’re working, in your handbag or desk drawer so you can actually concentrate on typing up that report. Or just put it on silent mode, but only if you know you have the willpower to resist looking at it every time it lights up.

Keep Busy

When our minds wander, that’s when we lose concentration and reach for other things to do. And the mind gets distracted a lot easier when bored so don’t let this happen. Try to make whatever you do interesting enough to keep you going and your mind from wandering so you’ll get things done easily.

Get Healthy

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, which makes it a lot easier for you to stay focussed too. Exercise improves brain function and getting enough sleep improves levels of concentration. And don’t forget to stay hydrated as this also improves cognitive function. When you’re able to stay focussed, you won’t be easily distracted, and therefore find it a lot easier to monotask productively.

Want more advice? Peruse our picks of 6 ways to fake confidence at work and 3 useful hacks that help you work from home efficiently! For more life tips and tricks, check out our lifestyle section.