For important and time-sensitive tasks, Craig believes in the adage ‘slow and steady wins the race’. ‘Monotasking’, the act of devoting your focus to one activity at a time, is the most productive approach.
“There’s no doubt that paying full attention to one task is, on the whole, most likely to give you the best performance compared to trying to spread your attention across several tasks,” Craig says. “If you’re doing it well and doing it efficiently, you’re not wasting time. So you’re less likely to be distracted by other thoughts.”
The art of ‘not doing’ is nothing new. Ancient philosophies, such as the Tao Te Ching, are based firmly in the practice of non-action, and learning to go with the flow. Australian AIA Vitality Ambassador Dr Jaime Lee stresses its importance here.
So how can we train our brains to stay focused? One way is by leaning into the practice of mindfulness. “Anyone who’s trying to do many tasks at once is probably not being mindful,” Craig suggests. Instead of drawing attention back to your breath when your mind wanders, monotasking asks you to draw attention back to the task at hand.
Looking to bring more focus in your busy life? Read on below.