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Home » Articles » Microtasking 101: A proven method to get more done

Microtasking 101: A proven method to get more done

Staying productive can be a challenge, especially with an endless list of work and distractions. That makes it easy to get overwhelmed and fall into a procrastination trap.

According to Zippia, apathy at school and work is a huge issue — with 41% of adults procrastinating due to lack of motivation.

However, there is a solution that has gained popularity — microtasking. It’s a strategy that promises to revolutionize the way we approach productivity.

Let’s explore what this approach is and how it can be used against procrastination. We’ll also break down its pros and cons, steps for effective implementation, and the future of this productivity method.

What is microtasking?

Microtasking is an approach to task management that involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks or ‘microtasks.’

Instead of tackling a large project all at once, this method breaks it down into bite-sized pieces that can be completed in a short period. These microtasks are typically easy to understand and require minimal effort.

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For example, instead of writing an entire blog article in one sitting, you could break it down into smaller goals like:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Conducting research
  • Outlining the structure
  • Writing the introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Proofreading

Dividing the work into smaller parts makes it less daunting and more achievable.

What is microtasking

How microtasking is used against procrastination

As mentioned, procrastination often occurs when tasks seem overwhelming or when there is a lack of motivation. We can overcome these obstacles by utilizing microtasking.

When faced with a large project, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and put it off for later. But when we break it down into smaller increments, the sense of overwhelm diminishes, and we are more likely to take the first step.

Completing smaller goals also provides a sense of accomplishment, which can boost motivation. When we see progress in the form of completed microtasks, we are more inclined to continue working and accomplish more.

It’s a way to trick our brains into seeing progress and staying motivated throughout the process.

Pros and cons of microtasking

Like any productivity method, microtasking has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them in detail:

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Benefits of microtasking

Microtasking provides the following advantages:

  • Better productivity. By breaking duties down into smaller parts, we can accomplish more in a shorter timeframe. Completing a series of microtasks can lead to a more productive day overall.
  • Lessens overwhelm. Dividing tasks into more manageable steps can help alleviate feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
  • Improved focus. Microtasking allows us to concentrate on one specific task, minimizing distractions and enhancing focus.
  • Flexibility. Small tasks can be easily rearranged and adjusted according to priorities, making it a flexible approach to task management.
Pros and cons of microtasking

Challenges of microtasking

Meanwhile, microtasking can also lead to these drawbacks:

  • Lack of context. When focusing solely on small tasks, we may lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s important to periodically step back and reassess the overall progress and direction of the project.
  • Potential for fragmentation. Breaking tasks into smaller goals can lead to fragmented efforts if not managed properly. It’s crucial to maintain coherence and ensure that all work aligns with the bigger goal.
  • Risk of underestimating time. Although microtasks are small, they can still take longer than expected. It’s important to accurately estimate the time required for each task to avoid falling behind schedule.
  • Potential for cognitive load. Constantly switching between small assignments can add cognitive load and reduce focus. It’s important to find a balance and allocate dedicated time to specific work to avoid mental exhaustion.

6 steps for effective microtasking

To make the most of microtasking, it’s important to approach it systematically. Here are some steps to help you effectively utilize this productivity method:

  1. Plan. Identify the larger project or work and break it down into compact, manageable microtasks. (Pro tip: Make each microtask fit as a SMART goal)
  2. Prioritize. Arrange these smaller jobs in order of importance or urgency.
  3. Allocate time. Estimate the time needed for each sub-task and allocate specific time blocks to work on them. This aids in maintaining focus and prevents procrastination.
  4. Use tools. Utilize productivity tools or apps to organize and track microtasks, such as to-do lists, task management apps, or time-tracking software.
  5. Track progress. Keep track of completed work to measure progress and stay motivated.
  6. Reassess and adjust. Regularly assess the progress and evaluate if any adjustments need to be made to the remaining microtasks.

Impact of microtasking in the future of work

As technology continues to shape the way we work, microtasking is likely to become even more prevalent.

Platforms specializing in this approach, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, have gained popularity over the years, indicating a growing demand for microtask-based work.

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can result in more sophisticated tools and platforms that streamline related processes and enhance productivity. 

Impact of microtasking in the future of work

Additionally, the rise of remote work and gig economy trends may further drive the adoption of this method as individuals seek flexible and efficient ways to manage their workload.

This means the ability to tap into a global workforce for short, specific jobs opens up new opportunities for businesses and individuals alike.

So, with the right strategies and tools in place, microtasking has the potential to revolutionize the way we work and get things done.

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