Living the authentic life of a unitasker

Recognizing that I am a unitasker

Of recent, I have become interested in the concept of living an authentic life. On the surface, living an authentic life is living in congruence with your values and beliefs. But, what exactly are your values and beliefs for each area of your life? Have you taken the time to really think about this? This week I started to question the way I work and embracing a single fact about myself…I am a unitasker.

I have known for a while now that I am a unitasker. Yes, I prefer to do a single thing at a time. I’m not a multitasker. I find juggling multiple tasks at the same time to be frustrating.

I hate being a multitasker

Even though I knew I am a unitasker, I have not lived like that. I am constantly distracted at work seeing to teaching, research and administrative work when interrupted by teaching assistants, postgraduate students, and administrative assistants. I hate it. I hate switching from one thing to another while trying to do my own work.

How I attempted to be a unitasker

This week, for some reason, I decided to try working on my own tasks but doing only one major thing in the first part of my workday and another major task in the second part of the workday. Between the two parts of the day and at the end I would send emails and respond to texts and WhatsApp messages. 

The caveat though is that I had to do my work in a coffee shop, a library, outside on a bench just to avoid my very distracting office.

This week has been my best week for the entire summer. 

Feelings of being a unitasker

I have never been more engaged in my work and less frustrated with work issues.

I feel as though I have completed loops in my mind because each task was started and completed on the same day.

Luckily, most of these tasks were not related to a long-term project. Only one was. But completing a single task for a longer-term project has brought me nothing but good and at times, less frustrating feelings.

Analyze yourself: Are you a unitasker or a multitasker?

Maybe you too are a unitasker. Maybe you are a multitasker. How do you know which one you are? Try being a unitasker for one day and record your feelings of the day at the end of the day. Then try being a multitasker and again record how you feel. If you have more positive feelings with being a unitasker then structure your workday or even your personal time around doing a single thing at any time and to completion before going on to another task. If this does not work for you then carry on being a multitasker.


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