Mastering the Mini-Task


The need for a different approach to my time management became very clear to me once I began staying at home with young children.  I wrote before about finding a rhythm to my day.  Another effective technique I use is called Mini-Tasking.

Let’s say I have the following on my to-do list:

1.  Return alarm clock for exchange

It seems like a straightforward task, but something like this can stay on my to-do list for weeks.  I’m much more likely to get this task done if I mini-task it and write it like this:

1.  Return alarm clock for exchange

  • Get phone number for clock company
  • Call to inquire about exchange policy
  • Get all needed info (codes, address)
  • Package clock for mailing
  • Bring to post office

Writing it like this helps for two important reasons

A.  It helps me BEGIN.  By clearly identifying the first mini step I need to take I am much more likely to move forward on it.

B.  I can use small spaces of time that open up effectively.  Being home with little kids makes the time I have available to keep the house running unpredictable.  I may not get the whole thing done in one sitting, but I can chip away at it with little snippets of time.

How do you deal with tasks that seem to stay week after week on your to-do list?