Micro Tasks Challenge the 15 Minute Declutter Routine
Could it be that micro tasks could be even more successful than a daily 15 minute declutter routine? I say yes; I think they can and that we ought to all jump on this bandwagon. Micro tasks could possibly even replace the 15 minute declutter routine.
How it Started
Mindlessly, I was stared at the shelf beside my desk. I had done so countless times before, while thinking through yet another online tech challenge. I have no recollection of sorting out the tech issue. It was clear there were things on the shelf I had not used in years and was never likely to use. In a split second, I decided to clear the shelf, wipe it off and remove to a donation pile those things I would not use. Like the audio CD for learning Spanish. I no longer have a CD player on my computer or portable device to play it.
In less than 5 minutes I had a clean shelf that was now half empty, a small bag of denotable items and a few items in recycling and garbage. The result of my micro task was a very satisfying declutter. The shelf is half empty, clean and can be used more effectively.
I soon determined that micro tasks could be done almost anywhere, almost any time. I’ve made a game of it. Just this morning, while waiting on the front door step for my son to load the car before leaving, I clipped back the trailing plants in the planter. The micro task took 5 minutes. Later while waiting for a video clip to upload, I wiped the windows sill, rinsed the stained-glass ornaments, took away the ones I no longer wanted and put everything back. Another 5 minutes.
I’ve defined micro task as a 5-10 minute task that can be completed with little or no additional equipment and contributes to clutter free living. Two days ago I took the ski jackets out of the front hall cupboard, inspected for rips and tears and transported to our off-season storage rack in the basement. I’ve got my eye on a shoe rack with 5 pairs of flip flops that haven’t left the rack in awhile – maybe 2 years. While waiting for the kettle to boil, I can scoop up the flip flops, inspect for integrity and bag for donation. This last task makes use of the concept of time layering along with micro tasks.
- Look for 5 minutes either between other projects or activities or while waiting for something else to happen (standing in line)
- Look around for a 5 minute task that is super easy to accomplish. For example, while waiting for the pasta water to boil, take the cutlery out of the cutlery tray, wash the tray and replace the cutlery.
- Make a game out of finding a micro task that doesn’t require any extra equipment (except maybe a cleaning cloth).
- Make sure that the task contributes to either decluttering or getting something done. For example, I filed the top few items on my paper filing pile waiting for yet another video to upload,.
- See how many of these you can do in one day.
Five minutes may not seem like alot of time. Those 5 minute tasks, however, all add up. The paper requires filing. The shelf requires decluttering and the flip flops require a new home. Add all those micro tasks together, all those 5 minute games, and eventually, you have a clutter free house.
Try it, and let me know how it goes.