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Calm in the Chaos

Mini-task Instead of Multitask


Multitasking isn’t efficient or effective. Switching between tasks too often, or trying to focus on more than one task at a time, lowers productivity by up to 40 percent. That's lose-lose. But there’s a difference between trying to multitask and taking small periods of time to focus on each task: what I call "mini-tasking." 
Photo by Lindsey Victoria Photography

by Jamie Spannhake

June 18, 2019


Calm in the Chaos

Mini-task Instead of Multitask


Multitasking isn’t efficient or effective. Switching between tasks too often, or trying to focus on more than one task at a time, lowers productivity by up to 40 percent. That's lose-lose. But there’s a difference between trying to multitask and taking small periods of time to focus on each task: what I call "mini-tasking." 

by Jamie Spannhake

June 18, 2019


Photo by Lindsey Victoria Photography

Multitasking isn’t efficient or effective. Switching between tasks too often, or trying to focus on more than one task at a time, lowers productivity by up to 40 percent. That's lose-lose. But there’s a difference between trying to multitask and taking small periods of time to focus on each task: what I call "mini-tasking." For example, I can write for 25 minutes while my daughter watches her favorite kids' show. I can completely focus on the writing for that short period of time. And when the show is over, I can put it aside and focus on family time. These small chunks of time, when added together, lead to completed work projects and also allow quality time with family. One task at a time, in chunked time periods. 

Think about what you can "mini-task" today. Is there a project that will take a lot of time to complete. Break it down into 30 minute mini-tasks. If you want to create a photobook at Shutterfly and know it's going to take 5 hours, which sounds daunting, then set aside 30 minutes a day, or grab 30 minutes when they suddenly become available. In ten days you'll be finished!

Mini-tasking is how I accomplish lots of things. Creating blog and instagram posts, organizing kids' activities, completing legal work, and even writing a book. Sure, I'd love to be able to focus for long periods of time on a project that I enjoy, but that's not my life. So I mini-task. The key is to have the tools you need with you when the time becomes available. I've set up my phone so that most of what I need to do can be accomplished on my phone. And I usually carry my laptop in the car, just in case I have a few unexpected minutes.

Give it a try and see what you can mini-task to completion! xo

A portion of this post first appeared at Attorney at Work as part of a larger article.

 

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