Saturday, September 26, 2020

Monotasking by Staffan Nöteberg

“Monotasking is about doing the most important task,” Nöteberg writes, “and focusing only on that single task.” (Loc 1981/2606) It is a much better way of efficiently working rather than the supposed multitasking. Studies have shown multitasking is a myth and what is actually happening is task switching. Such switching of tasks consumes productive time, induces errors, reduces emotional intelligence, raises cortisol in the brain and is energy intensive. Trying to do everything at the same time yields the same results as doing nothing.

Monotasking, Nöteberg says, is the answer. He provides the practices and tools to conserve brain energy and put it to better use. He writes about prioritizing, time boxing, the importance of taking breaks, eating right, getting enough sleep and much more. He suggests setting an alarm and focusing on the most important task for at least 25 minutes. Then you take a panorama break, looking over the five tasks you've listed, identify the most important and set your alarm.

I like how Nöteberg presents his material. Each chapter starts with a synopsis, then the teaching material, then a summary. His material is in small bits and could be read almost in an inspirational way, one a day.

He includes tons of practical suggestions on how to deal with issues interfering with the ability to monotask, such as interruptions to meetings, breaking down large projects, taking walks, mind mapping and more. My favorite aspect of this book is his repeated emphasis on the question, what is the best use of my time right now? I have to admit, his cute drawings came in a close second.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Staffan Nöteberg is an enterprise coach, author of productivity books and a professional soccer coach. You can find out more at

Skyhorse Publishing, 192 pages. This book will release in March, 2021.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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