Lili Reinhart reveals an imposter has been posing as her in interviews

Jennifer McShane

Cambridge Terrace
This period home in Dun Laoghaire with an impressive garden is on the market for...

Lauren Heskin

A new cooking show, Joan Didion and a self-help podcast: What’s on tonight, Tuesday January...

Holly O'Neill

Call to immediately enact legislation for extended Parental Leave

Jennifer McShane

Meet the new style codes of 2021

Suzie Coen

COVID guidelines
Shebeens and house parties: Why has following COVID guidelines become so difficult?


New study reveals we are able to ‘catch’ moods from our friends

Amanda Cassidy

If lockdown has killed your libido, you are not alone

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

A beauty writer on the best expert skincare tips she’s ever heard

Melanie Morris

Netflix february 2021
6 Netflix picks we can’t wait for in February

Jennifer McShane

To-do list stressing you out? Doing this simple task will improve your productivity at work

by Jennifer McShane
30th Apr 2020

Being truly productive during the working day has little to do with multi-tasking

I used to think I thrived on multi-tasking. Having a massive to-do list, with so many boxes to tick, so many deadlines to fill in a day; it brought out the best in me in terms of my productivity. That’s what I thought when I started my current job. At first, I pushed passed the warning signs; multi-tasking was inherent in me and I was good at it. Six months in, however, I was worn out.

With so many task lists, I was frazzled, exhausted and unhappy. I was getting items ticked off, but each task only left me with 20 more to do. Stress mounted. So, I had to take a step back. I couldn’t make drastic changes to my schedule, but I could start small.


So, I decided to start taking things one day at a time. And it was one of the most effective small changes I’ve ever made. Productivity experts call this ‘single-tasking’ and it’s an approach that has been proven to reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve focus and decision-making as well as keeping your brain healthy. It wasn’t easy to kick my multi-tasking habit, especially as for so long it has been seen as the modern way to get things done.

However, the good thing is, single-tasking is now viewed as the ultimate productivity tool, forcing you to focus on the task at hand to the exclusion of everything else.

It takes a concerted effort to leave the chaotic addiction of multi-tasking behind, but the benefits are immediate. It will increase your creativity, energy and focus throughout the working day. And if you’re still struggling to get the hang of it, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Give your brain some downtime. You will be more productive if, several times a day, you step away from mentally challenging tasks for three to five minutes. And we mean completely step away — a “communication break,” so to speak. Taking a break will help make room for your next inspired idea because a halt in constant thinking slows the mind’s rhythms to allow more innovative “aha” moments.
  • Focus deeply, without distraction. Silence your phone, turn off your email and try to perform just one task at a time. Start with 15-minute intervals and work your way up to longer periods if this is tough. Giving your full attention to the project at hand will increase accuracy, innovation and speed.
  • Make a to-do list. Then identify your top two priorities for the day and make sure they are accomplished above all else. Giving the most important tasks your brain’s prime time will make you feel more productive.

Main photograph: Unsplash

RelatedWork anxiety is a real thing. Here’s how you can manage it

RelatedEver wanted to take a career break to do a dream job? This Irish woman did

RelatedThe best Instagram accounts to follow to help you save money

Also Read

new york subway
Young mother dies carrying pram down stairs at New York subway station

A young mother has died after falling down the stairs...

By Grace McGettigan

Travel Here Next: A Smart Stay In Boston

WHAT & WHERE If location, location, location is king, then...

By Lucy White

The Top 5 Worst Celebrity Influences, According To Parents

If you had to think of one celebrity you wouldn’t...


IMAGE Award at The Wella Trend Vision

There are a whole lot of worse ways to spend...

By Melanie Morris

What To Do Today: Your IMAGE Guide To The Weekend

Get Painted by Maser Here Ever wanted to get painted...

By Niamh ODonoghue

This is what your next hair appointment will look like, according to 3 Irish hair stylists

Heading to the hair salon next week? This is what...

By Katie Byrne

3 Things You Must Watch This Winter

Winter sees the cream of the Hollywood crop vying to...

By Jennifer McShane

Social Pics: Irish Fashion Exposure Event Autumn Winter 2016

Recently, the 8th Annual ?The Irish Fashion Exposure – Autumn...

By Jennifer McShane