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TB#33: Boost Your Productivity without Overloading Your Schedule


I preach about consistency all the time.

But I’ll admit, I had to spend a few extra brain cycles on this one:

Like, what if what you are doing really is pointless?

And consistency leads nowhere.

Something worth pondering. Yet, a clarification is needed here: I don’t want you to quit what you’re doing. Because consistency truly is king.

But find ways to experiment with new things!

You know, just in case.

Yes, I hear you: “I just don’t have the time!”

These days nobody has.

So let’s dive into a cool productivity technique that allows you to summon more time. Do this, and I guarantee you’ll get more meaningful work done without having to add even one block to your already busy calendar.

And it all starts with defining what are your meaningful micro tasks.

Understanding Micro Tasks:

Whatever goals you have, dig deep enough and you’ll find there are some tasks that share the following three characteristics:

  • they don’t take long to complete
  • they contribute to your goals
  • they just don’t run out

So, for example in my case at my 9-5 when I’m writing a funding proposal, these would be doing some quick research to find fresh articles discussing my topics or finding out new ways to word things – basic online research. Doesn’t take long, and the more of this you do, the more you learn!

Or, in the case of building online, these tasks are having DM conversations with interesting people.

They don’t take long, there’s unlimited number of them to be had, and they just might make a big difference down the road.

They contribute to my goals.

Identifying Idle Moments:

Now, think about your typical day.

And not just for a while, but really think about it. Like, what exactly do you do when you wake up? Where do you spend time waiting for something to start?

For our purposes here: are there idle moments that you could utilize more effectively?

Or let me rephrase that. Where are the idle moments?

Because I bet you have them.

I have them.

Everyone has them!

Think of the 3 minutes you wait for the microwave to go *ding*. Or when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. How about when you’re waiting for a meeting to start. Or, yikes, commuting? That’s an easy full hour of idle time for many (unless you’re driving, of course…)

These moments are everywhere.

So, what about using them for something else than the typical pointless inbox-refreshing or checking Instagram?

Introducing “Magic Minutes

Let’s do something different.

And put to good use the moments you “just wait” for something important to happen.

Waiting doesn’t move the needle.

But crushing those micro tasks does!

The trick is to match the right micro task to the right idle moment. For example, if you have 3 minutes before a meeting, it’s the perfect time to write a social media post draft or two in the buffer.

If you have 10 minutes, go start a DM conversation or two with people you think are interesting. Or pick up old conversations.

Otherwise, you’d have to try to block time for these activities. And let’s face it: You’re busy already. It’s not easy to block time in an already full schedule.

Of course, I’m not saying not to take breaks. Not at all! Take them when needed. Just be smart about those idle minutes.

Magic Minutes can make all the difference in achieving your bigger goals, all without feeling any extra overwhelm.

If your goals ignite you rather than feel like work, these minutes will feel extra empowering!

And by completing these micro tasks throughout the day, you might just end up having more time for relaxation and personal activities.

The Power of Consistency with Magic Minutes

Finally, let’s take this up a notch.

Do this for just a few weeks, and you’ll form a habit that leads to increased productivity and efficiency.

Over time, all those minutes you used to spend waiting, and now spend for taking baby steps toward your goals in form of Magic Minutes, result in a substantial amount of completed work.

And I’ve found that the best way to make Magic Minutes work is by having a clear list of what to do, so when the opportunity arises it’s 100% clear to you what to do.

And be sure that your goals serve YOU and not someone else. This way, the work you put in during these minutes will feel like a breeze and you WANT to do them instead of you feeling like you HAVE TO do them.

Be selfish with this one and you’ll see how powerful it is!

Till next week,


About the author 

Simo Hosio  -  Simo is an award-winning scientist, Academy Research Fellow, research group leader, professor, and digital builder. This site exists to empower people to build passion projects that support professional growth and make money.

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