The Micro-Work Mindset

How many words can I crank out in the next 25 minutes? How many leg stretches can I get in while waiting for the bank teller? Can I finish a draft of my next H2BP article in the next half hour? These three preceding questions, and many others just like it, drive large gains in my personal output. The Micro-Work Mindset is an incredible enhancement to my productivity, especially when I find myself with a few unplanned, “free” minutes.

The Micro-Work Mindset came about recently, when a time gap arose between the end of my work day at 530pm and an exercise class at six. While I needed 15 minutes to prepare for the class, I still had 15 free minutes to do something productive. It occurred to me that I could practice a few equations on multi-dimensional mixture modelling in that time.

A LOT can get done in 15 minutes.

The draft of this H2BP article was written up in 15 minutes before meeting my girlfriend for lunch. The initial draft ended up being about 300 words. That may only equate to a few paragraphs, but suppose I find another 15 minute block free time block later and used it in a similar way (I did).  I will have cranked out 600 total  words in two short busts of time. Why? Because I simply asked myself – “How much could I get done in next 15 minutes?” I did not say “well I can’t anything of significance done so I’ll just play on my phone. “

And remember, the Micro-Work Mindset is just that – a mindset. It is a general positive shift in thinking from “I can’t do much in a short amount of time” to “I can do A LOT in a short of amount of time, so I am going to do it.” The trick is to turn the Micro-Work Mindset into a strong thought habit. Everyday, take great efforts to identify small gaps of time where magical, amazing work can be completed, then do the work.

The Micro-Work Mindset is great when we find ourselves waiting for things like Dr. appointments, bank tellers, downloading files, or food in the oven. So here’s a quick challenge – the next time you have 15 or 30 minutes to spare, ask yourself the simple question “What is something super productive I can do in the next 15 minutes?”, then do it!

The Micro-Work Mindset– a great way to make large gains in your personal productivity. Try it, have fun, and be productive. : )

Happy Working,

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