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Move mountains by mini-tasking not multitasking

07 March 2011

With studies claiming that multitasking can muddle our brains, I've developed a new system of getting a multitude of things done each day - I've switched to mini-tasking.

Like many \"big picture\" people I bore quickly when confronted by tasks I consider mundane (often admin-related!) or can feel overwhelmed by a large To Do list.

My old routine saw me constantly drained as I juggled several tasks at once. A classic example of my in-office circus-like behavior included resting my phone on my shoulder (bad, bad, bad!) to free up one hand so I could eat while on hold while using my free hand to type on the (crumb-filled) computer. You get the picture.

My new system sees me setting small time limits to get tasks done. For example, a frenzied five minutes to sort out receipts. Not finished? Fine - book it in for your next mini-task session. So close you can feel it? Great keep going, but only for another five minutes.

By breaking the day up into short, medium and longer time slots, I am getting more from my day and managing to focus on the ONE task at hand.

The result: I am finding that a short burst on a boring task can actually make it feel quite bearable and - gasp - sometimes even FUN! Who knew?

My secret is to blitz it and stop before I feel bored. It's amazing what you can do in a five minute block. An added bonus is I often feel more refreshed when starting my next activity and am churning through more in each day than I was before without mentally wearing myself out.

I could tell you more about the benefits, but must dash, my five minutes for this task are now up!

Melina Schamroth is the Founder and CEO of m.a.d.woman, author of How to be m.a.d. (making a difference) and m.a.d. (making a difference) in a green way. She established singles events, Single Volunteers and runs corporate team building events that make a difference. You can read more at