Multitasking sounds great. It makes us feel productive, because the world is making us feel that we need to do always more. Nothing’s ever enough, and since time is a resource we cannot alter, we try to split it. But all we end up splitting is our focus.
Along with my growing dislike toward multitasking, I started to notice that I also increasingly prefer single-purpose (or fewer-purpose) tools and methods, too.
For years I was wearing an Apple Watch. Loved it. But earlier this year I changed it to a regular wristwatch (a Sea2Sea Seal 5, in case you were curious; sustainability is important to me, more and more). Instead, I bought an Ōura ring in September 2022. The ring does exactly what I need from a smart wearable, but nothing more.
I don’t need notifications and apps and whatnot on something I wear. I want to isolate tasks and actions and information, and handle them with intention and within restrictions lest they overwhelm me. For the same reason I started building a ‘second brain’ and bullet journaling.
Taking back control over information and time in order to improve my productivity, mental health, and time management is a key project in my life lately. I’m merely at the beginning of experimenting and figuring out what tools work best for my life and my goals, but so far it’s been a great experience.
I also started using a pomodoro timer app called Forest, in order to create distraction-free pockets of time in order to focus on one thing.
Things have slowed down since I implemented these boundaries. Analog tools like my bullet journal and writing longhand also make me more intentional. I concentrate on one task at a time, try to finish (or at least come to a natural stopping point) what I set out to do in one sitting, and turn off distractions from devices as much as I can.
Still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m pleased with my progress. Doing one thing, focusing on one thing at a time, helped me tremendously in not only resolving creative blocks but to avoid them altogether. I can do a second-third-fourth-etc. any time, to add more layers and details to whatever I’m working on. But not having to worry about the big picture all the time does wonders.