Have you ever got intimidated by the amount of work your colleagues do? Have you ever been surprised at how your friends can study more material than you? Have you been wondering how top CEOs accomplish so much work and yet find time for their hobbies and families? 👀
If you've ever come across any of these questions, I suggest you keep reading to understand the truth behind how smart people work. 💡
Microproductivity is the process of dividing an intricate and complex task, into small and mini-tasks so that they seem more doable and less intimidating.
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Breaking down complex tasks into smaller tasks, makes them feel more achievable. It also reduces our ability to procrastinate. Thinking about the mammoth task ahead of us, will do nothing but scare us or make us feel like the workload is too much to handle. If we keep thinking about how we have so much left to do, we will only get more worried and stressed. Instead, if we break the same enormous task, into smaller tasks, not only will we be able to finish those tasks faster, but at the completion of these smaller tasks, we will feel more satisfied.
Breaking down a large project into smaller to-dos helps us identify the steps we need to take next. A simple task seems more approachable and gives us a feeling of mental satisfaction upon completion. Moreover, specificity is really important. The main reason a task appears complex is because we do not know the specifics. If we knew every inch and detail of the project, it would appear easier and more manageable. In the same way, if we divide our tasks into smaller tasks, the specifics of the tasks get known to us. Specific goals force us to pursue them. It makes us think strategically and put in more effort as we have a clear idea of how successful completion will look like.
Need an example?
For example, let's say you are planning on working on your fitness, and want to achieve those 6-pack abs you have always dreamed of. If you keep thinking about achieving those abs, it will feel like an impossible task to achieve. However, if you break it down into small tiny bits, like doing 100 crunches daily, or 500 daily jump ropes, a proper protein-rich diet, daily exercise routines with sufficient rest days, a calorie deficit every day, then our goal will definitely seem more achievable. In fact, we can further break down these tasks into smaller more achievable ones. We can break the 100 crunches into 4 groups of 25 and perform those while watching a movie, or perhaps while watching our favorite football match.
Another example, consider you want to cook a delicious 3-course meal for your family. 🍣🍙🍨 Creating so many dishes, with so much delicacy and minute details, might seem like a cumbersome task. However, if we break this, into 3 separate dishes, separate the ingredients of each dish, slowly and steadily work our way up each dish, progressively approaching one at a time, our complete meal will be ready in no time. In addition to this, at the completion of our first dish, we would feel mentally more pleased that we have succeeded in creating a servable dish. This would boost our confidence, and make us work more strategically to save time on the other dishes.
In this way, by breaking down our big projects into smaller and more achievable tasks, we will be able to accomplish more work. The smaller tasks will feel less intimidating and daunting. If done correctly, it will be the springboard to our success story and our secret to achieving more in less time.
If you need some more help in breaking down your tasks, or if you are confused about how to approach a complex task, I suggest you read this Guide by Christina Willner, which talks about breaking down large projects into bite-sized tasks.
I also suggest visiting the following links, if you want some more detailed information on Microproductivity and the science behind it.