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Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing at a Time

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  138 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Your Mind Can't Be Two Places at Once
Too many of us have become addicted to the popular, enticing, dangerously misleading drug of multitasking. Devora Zack was once hooked herself. But she beat it and became more efficient, and you can too.
Zack marshals convincing neuroscientific evidence to prove that you really can't do more by trying to tackle several things at once i
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 4th 2015 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published March 2nd 2015)
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David Marshall
Jun 20, 2015 David Marshall rated it it was amazing
I've read an early manuscript version of this book, and I think it will be a huge bestseller. Everyone struggles with multitasking and running around like a chicken with its heat cut off, leading to stress, lack of sleep, and all kinds of mental and health woes. Devora Zack uses her unique blend of directness and humor to help people focus on Singletasking instead, which can lead to even greater daily, weekly, and monthly productivity with more satisfaction and sustainability. Just like ...more
Jane
May 27, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing
Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing At A Time by Devora Zack

I opened the first page of this book, Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing At A Time and that was it. I had to read the rest of the book! Devora Zack uses humor, insight, theory, knowledge, and experience to prove to us that multitasking is a myth. Singletasking is a principle. If you really want to get more done, focused attention on one task at a times will get the results you want. Get your sanity back one task at a time.

Reclai
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Genevieve
Feb 28, 2016 Genevieve rated it it was amazing
This is a really really great book for busy people (which we all are these days). I picked up Singletasking because I had become disenchanted with the concept of multitasking. When I multitasked, I always felt so scattered and overwhelmed, like I would never actually get anything done, since no individual tasks ever seemed to get finished. Ironically, it took me months to finish this book, since I had to read many other books for school, etc. in the time after I started it. Debora Zack is very ...more
Linda
Sep 10, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2-non-fiction
Singletasking. My eyes have been opened and I completely agree with this premise. You can live a richer, fuller, more accomplished life by giving your full attention to the task, or person, at hand instead of multitasking. Most of this book is geared to those in the workforce, but as a stay-at-home mom, I still found it helpful. The last chapter was especially insightful for me. I love this quote the author uses from a song: "Do you live the days you go through?" I also really like the author's ...more
Jennifer Olson
May 26, 2015 Jennifer Olson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
What a great book! It's about incorporating singletasking into your life instead of multitasking. There are numerous examples throughout the book, as well as sections to jot down ideas from your own life. This book is intended to make a difference in your personal life as well as your career, changing the way you think about handling all tasks. I know that I will definitely be more conscious about my future order of operations due to this book.
Vel
Jan 17, 2016 Vel rated it liked it
I could not agree less with the author in terms of the subject of the book. Focusing on a single task absolutely brings out wonderful results, free from distractions. Though parts of the book sound repetitive (and hence the 3*), the author provides some valuable ideas to achieve a singular focus in whatever you do. Read it, if you get the time!
Lynda
Mar 13, 2016 Lynda rated it really liked it
Highly recommend this book. Multitasking has been recommended for so long that we have forgotten the benefits of focusing on one thing at a time.
Gregory
May 26, 2015 Gregory rated it it was ok
(I went a little overboard on the length. Skip to the last paragraph for the quick and easy review.)

Unfortunately, I cannot say that “Singletasking” was a very useful book. The concept is sound enough, and I agree that that much-vaunted “skill” of multitasking is problematic. The actual final product, this book, was rather disappointing.

One minor critique, is the tone of the book is somewhat off. Of course being an entry in the self help / management vein, it makes sense that there be anecdote
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Charmin
Jul 11, 2016 Charmin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: growth
Highlights:
1. Multitasking pulls our attention toward unrelated obligations as we work.
2. We are losing our ability to focus. We are scattered. Multi-taskers are only half-way paying attention. We task-switch.
3. Parking Lot – place unrelated insights aside until the time comes to redirect your mind. Taking an idea out of your head and onto a page is at times necessary to maintain full concentration. A visible list makes capturing parking lot items clear and overt.
4. Cluster-tasking – do like
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Dwight
May 31, 2016 Dwight rated it liked it
Shelves: work
I'm no single-tasking champion or anything, but I'm already on board with the idea which means I'm not sure how convincing the first part of the book is. It may be that the first section isn't effective to convince an inveterate multi-tasker.

The key idea in this book is that singletasking is about respecting the person in front of you by focusing on that person (or task). This is better than splitting your focus between many people all over the world. By setting time limits you can still get ju
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Aaron
Jan 27, 2016 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, I actually followed quite a few of the practices laid out in this book before reading it, namely doing my best to reduce distractions while working on something important to me. That said, this book is good to confirm a lot of my suspicions about how people do things and, thusly, how my own brain does a lot of things. I pretty much have to be distraction free or I start getting drawn into the internet or checking my phone or reading when I should be writing. I would say it's a ...more
Deane Barker
Dec 23, 2015 Deane Barker rated it it was ok
This book was perhaps inspiring, but not much else. The author spends a lot of time explaining why multi-tasking is bad, which is fine, but I think we all know this.

Did I learn anything practical from the book? Probably not. But it was inspiration to get me to try and single-task more. I specifically bought it to fill an hour of time (which it did), so I didn't really expect it to be a deep read.

This book will not change your life. But it might cause you to adopt some better habits.
Venkatesh-Prasad
Jan 24, 2016 Venkatesh-Prasad rated it really liked it
If you share the belief that single-tasking is better than multi-tasking or want to practice single-tasking, then you will enjoy the book. If not, the book will surely nudge you in the direction of single-tasking with some supporting evidence. Since single-tasking is simple to practice (but not easy), I thought the book did not provide too much information on how to practice it, which makes sense. However, it provides some interesting points that will make you want to explore single-tasking
Pumza
Feb 03, 2016 Pumza rated it it was amazing
This book was a life saver. It came at the right time. I was thinking I'm going mad because of the consequences of multitasking. At any given time I would be on the phone, tablet , computer and maybe reading all at once. I used to fill like there was something pushing me to be in a rush. Thank you Devora.
Denise Degregorio
Oct 16, 2015 Denise Degregorio rated it it was amazing
This book is eye opening and engaging. It's a quick read and for those of us who feel we are good at multi-tasking, it opens our eyes to what is really happening. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who feels they do too many things but never accomplish anything. Also, those who feel it necessary to set the alerts on for all electronic communication. STOP!
Denise Tarasuk
Jun 22, 2015 Denise Tarasuk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Fantastic! I immediately put into action Singletasking and feel all the better for it! This is a must read that will change your life and bring joy! This book of goodies is important and life changing. Thank you Devora Zack!
Georg
Jun 26, 2015 Georg rated it really liked it
I have written a Danish presentation of Devora Zack's fine book, Singletasking, here: Singletasking: Eller hvordan skriver du mere effektivt? - Opgavedoktor
Alex Devero
Feb 26, 2016 Alex Devero rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-development
Contrary to popular belief, the key to being more productive is not filling your schedule and tackling everything at once. Rather, you should singletask, or prioritize your tasks and work through them one at a time with focus and tranquility.
Ruth
Aug 05, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
Short and sweet, with solid advice and a minimum of pseudo-psycho/neurological babble. I really like the idea of building flex time into each day to plan for the unexpected, and of doing the hardest thing each day first.
Vanessa
Sep 14, 2015 Vanessa added it
Shelves: non-fiction
A predictable, but effective reminder of why we are better at everything when we focus and do one thing at a time. Life, relationships, and work improve when we stop pretending we can multitask...research shows humans aren't very good at it.
Alaeddin Hallak
Contrary to popular belief, the key to being more productive is not filling your schedule and tackling everything at once. Rather, you should singletask, or prioritize your tasks and work through them one at a time with focus and tranquility.
Brematt1
Jan 02, 2016 Brematt1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful for business

I was hoping this would help me be more in the now. It was mainly geared towards the workplace and the chapter on home was very short. It did make me think.
Katie Smith
Meh. . .

Multitasking has got me this far and I am not pulling my hair out yet. She didn't convince me.
Hussien Khayoon
Jun 28, 2015 Hussien Khayoon rated it really liked it
Fun book to read. Even though a bit simplistic, it draws on evidence from science and personal experience to prove to you that multitasking sucks. I enjoyed it.
Sue
Sue rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2015
Amber
Amber rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Bubububust
Bubububust rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2016
Jennie
Jennie rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2016
Johnathan Duncan
Johnathan Duncan rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2015
Kelly
Kelly rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2015
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Devora Zack is a nationally recognized expert in the field of leadership development. Her consulting, networking strategies, seminars, corporate retreats, coaching, and strategic plans consistently result in improved productivity and morale.Ms. Zack consults to dozens of diverse organizations in private industry, federal agencies, and the public sector.

Ms. Zack holds an MBA from Cornell University
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