The Radical Monotasking Challenge
Written by Madeleine Shaw on Dec. 6th 2018
So, we’re not actually designed to multi-task. Our brains go all over the shop and we do everything worse than if we did it with focus. You know when you’re having half a conversation with someone and you don’t really engage, and they get irritated or disappointed, and words from the conversation end up randomly in your poorly drafted email? That. So try giving your mind a break, to see what it’s really capable of.

Multi-tasking is stressful, it's highly inefficient and worst of all, it makes you feel terrible! So here's an idea for you.


This is more severe than how'd you'd want to live permanently, of course. It's an experiment to help you notice how often you multi-task. My guess is: way more often than you think.

Here are the rules. Remember, it's just one day.

Rule 1: Do one thing at a time.
Rule 2: If in doubt, see Rule 1.

In practice, this will look like:

- No using your phone while doing anything else – this includes eating, talking, riding on the train, watching TV, waiting for the kettle to boil. DEFINITELY not while driving. Anything. You will only use your phone when you sit down specifically to do so.

- No reading anything unless sitting down specifically to do so.

- When watching your kids' activities, just watch.

- When eating – just eat.

- When drinking – just drink.

- No music on at home, while exercising, or in the car. Listening to music means really sitting down and listening to it.

- When doing chores, just do them. No getting distracted.

- When playing with the family, just play with them. No getting distracted.

- When talking – stop anything else, and just talk.

- When listening – stop anything else, and just listen.

- When resting – stop anything else, and just rest.

If you think of anything important I’ve left off the list, I think Rule 2 covers most things. 

At the end of the day, ask yourself:

- What was easy?
- What was hard?
- What was surprising?


Madeleine Shaw

Madeleine Shaw helps smart, successful but stressed out people to profoundly transform their relationship with time.
If you're interested in escaping from time-pressure and overwhelm and experiencing ease and clarity while still taking care of everything that matters, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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