If you were to make a list of everything that you have to do tomorrow, I´m sure that it would be long. Probably depressingly, disturbingly, curl-up-in-a-ball-and-whimper long. You know what would make you feel better? Ignore it all. Just pretend it isn´t there. For one day (why not tomorrow?), I want you to give yourself a gift – a single task day. Just one task. All day. You won´t be doing a hundred different things like you do every day. You´re going to pick one task and do it all day. If you get done early, then you are done for the day early. No distractions or diversions or momentum killers. It can happen if you make it happen.
The task you choose could be something specific — I am going to finally macramé that plant holder that the office has needed for months. Or it could be something more general — by the end of the day there are no longer going to be 387 messages in my e-mail inbox. It doesn´t really matter. There is just one rule. The task you choose has to be something that you have been meaning to get to for a while, but you haven´t been able to get to it.
There are a number of reasons why this day is such a good idea, and why you should do it. First of all, the task will get done. There is nothing worse than having something weighing on your mind for weeks, so this will wipe it out. That´s the least of the benefits, though. More lasting and significant, you will get to experience the feeling of only doing one thing at a time. That seems like something obvious and simple, but really think about the last time that you were able to focus on one thing without distractions. It was probably a long time ago. Unless it was yesterday, it was certainly too long ago.
There´s another good reason to do this — it feels really good. That´s such an overlooked element when we are trying to make ourselves more productive. There is probably at least an aspect of your work that you really love to do. If you feel stress from your work, or you just plain hate it, that likely doesn´t come from actually doing the work. It comes from having to deal with everything that you have to deal with while you are trying to do your work. When you actually get to sit down, roll up your sleeves, and get something accomplished, you´ll be reminded how good that feels.