Single Task Your Way to Success

The world is full of multi-taskers, but sometimes single tasking is the way to go — especially when it comes to getting your money in order.

After all, there’s so much to think about when it comes to money. There’s making a spending plan, figuring out when to pay those bills, getting (or staying!) out of debt, creating an emergency fund, making sure all of the insurance bases are covered, advancing your career and/or business, doing fun things, planning for retirement, estate planning, etc.

The list can be overwhelming, taken all at once.

It can be especially overwhelming if you’re just getting started with one of the topics. Learning about new things can take a lot of time and effort. Given a list like that, we might be tempted to just forget about it.

That’s where single tasking comes in handy. Pick just one thing — maybe the thing that would have the most impact on your life, or the thing that interests you the most — and work your way through understanding and implementing that. Once you feel comfortable with that, move on to the next one on your list.

Single task your way through the list until you’ve got everything covered.

For example, I had no clue about investing, so I didn’t even consider the topic for many years. But as I got more comfortable with money in general, and started to get my money in order, I was able to start working on that area.

Knowing that I’ve worked my way through other money topics has helped motivate me to continue with the next one.


  • You’re on to something here Jackie! Multitasking is a sure fire way to dull your focus, but we all seem to buy into the myth.

    One of the abilities that most insures success in any endeavor is the ability to bring a single minded focus to the project at hand. The electronic media complicates this by giving a sense of urgency to the ordinary, but the more we can block out the clutter, the closer we’ll get to achieving our goals.

    Some form of one-thing-at-a-time is the way to go.

    • Oh, boy, electronic media sure does make it harder. And the phone. I try to keep that stuff closed when I’m actively working on it, and remind myself that just because I phone rings does not mean I need to answer it.

  • Ace

    Recently I have so much stuff flying around in my head that I can be less effective. You’re definitely making a great point here Jackie. One technique that I’ve found that helps me a lot is to pick a single task, and set a timer. It instantly helps me hone in on what I’m trying to accomplish because I know that I’m racing the clock.

    This of course doesn’t work for everything, but things like plowing through a bunch of e-mail without getting distracted or other similar tasks it works wonders.

  • I hate multi-taksing! Unless I’m washing clothes and doing something else. I attribute that to being “rusty” from not working a traditional 9-5…where I needed to multi-task!