Single-Tasking

The ability to multitask is something most of us claim to have and rely heavily on. Multitasking has become associated with efficiency and intelligence, however, very few of us are actually “good” at it. When carrying out multiple tasks, rather than focusing simultaneously on everything, our brain toggles our focus back and forth between each task. This constant shifting of focus ends up leaving us overwhelmed and drained, reducing our productivity, and stressing us out.

Single-tasking, or focusing on one task at a time, is a smarter (more efficient) way of being productive. By maintaining complete focus on one task, you eliminate the time it takes for your brain to shift focus, meaning you’ll get things done quicker. Not only does it save you time but dedicating 100% of your focus to each task will increase your performance and reduce your stress.

Our body reflects our mind, meaning if we’re overwhelmed and stressed by our thoughts, our bodies will develop the same stress and tension. Not only does single-tasking ease your mind and make you more productive, but it also prevents your tasks and responsibilities from affecting your well-being.

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To make tackling your to-do list more productive and manageable, practice these single-tasking strategies:

  • Start small. Giving yourself 3 easy tasks is a great way to get yourself feeling accomplished and motivated to do more. Take pride in each task you complete and gradually work your way up to completing more.

  • Break down larger tasks. This makes larger, stressful tasks seem more realistic by creating a clear step-by-step plan. This is also a great way to prevent procrastination.

  • Schedule time for each task. Work in bursts and take a break in between each task. Rotating the tasks you work on is a great way to tackle multiple things in one day, while still dedicating yourself to one task at a time.

  • Be patient and realistic. Forming a new habit isn’t easy, and it takes time and consistency. Take it day by day and strive for progress, not perfection.

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Single-tasking may seem simpler than multi-tasking, however, it requires practice and training since multi-tasking has become habitual. Although the process of changing our habits can be discouraging, the benefits you’ll receive in the end far outweigh the challenge. If at any point you find yourself needing encouragement, we recommend scheduling time with us at Serenity, where we’ll handle the physical stress so that you can focus on your mental stress.

Vance Joy - Take Your Time

Why and How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Health is multidimensional, so it's important to have multiple healthy habits rather than just one. For example, you may exercise regularly, but not getting enough quality sleep can negatively affect your exercise performance and overall health (and vice versa). Too often do we sacrifice our sleep to make time for other things, not realizing that in doing so, we are sacrificing much more.

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Sleep deficiency is something we’ve all experienced, whether you’re going back to school, are working extended hours, or just consider yourself a night owl. Not only is creating a sleep schedule for yourself a great health habit, but it also promotes self discipline. Adults are recommended to get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep, and while that may seem like wasted time to those with busy schedules, it is vital for our overall well-being as sleep deficiency is linked to:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased Appetite
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease and type II diabetes)
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Weakened immune system

Creating a consistent sleep schedule can be difficult, let alone getting enough sleep. However, it only takes 21 consecutive days for a behavior to become a habit. Our bodies crave consistency, and by committing to a sleep schedule, you’ll notice the many ways in which your body will thank you.

To create a sleep schedule and improve your sleep quality, you must:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday (even on the weekends)
  • Skip the snooze button
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and eating large meals before bed
  • Write down wandering thoughts so that they don’t distract you from falling asleep
  • Go to bed as soon as you’re feeling tired and get out of bed if you're not tired
  • Keep your room quiet, cool and dark
  • Exercise and expose yourself to natural light as much as possible during the day
  • Avoid artificial light in the evening (especially from computers, t.v., or your phone) so your body doesn’t think it’s time to be awake
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bed such as reading, taking a warm bath, or getting a massage
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Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to prepare your body for sleep. Massages, whether received during the day or at night, are especially helpful with improving sleep quality because they trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps calm the body and relieve pain. Massages have also been proven to increase deep sleep by decreasing depression and anxiety, in both adults and children. We recommend making massages a part of your routine, at least once a month, to maintain tension and anxiety, and ensure good quality sleep at night.