3 Ways to Keep Minor Tasks From Becoming Major Productivity Problems

By Chelsea Babin

When you’re looking to improve your work/life balance, finding small ways to amp up your productivity is a great strategy for getting your work done on time. With a major project or weekly meeting, there are often set deadlines or time periods that you can’t change. Instead of looking for major productivity hacks you can save a lot of time and get home faster by making sure minor tasks don’t take up too much time. Here are three ways to keep your minor tasks from becoming major productivity problems.

1. Tasks to Fill Gaps: Minor tasks can feel like a burden when you’re in the middle of a major project or you have a day filled with meetings but this can actually be the best time to get them done. If you need a brain break while problem solving on a major project or you have 20 minutes between meetings, use this time to get some of your smaller tasks done. Things like clearing out your inbox and answering emails or organizing your desk are all things that need to be done but don’t necessarily need large windows of time to be completed. Make a list of small tasks that aren’t high priority and keep it around for days when you’re looking for a brain break or something to do in between meetings.

2. Decisions in Seconds: If two projects have the same deadline, which should you work on first? Should you phrase this email to your coworker this way or that way? Should you go to lunch here or there? Chances are your workday is filled with decisions. Some of them will be important and require a lot of analyzation and time in order for you to make the best decision. However, decisions like the three examples above, may not be the most important decisions you ever make, but they do still need to be made. When you’re making small decisions it’s best to make sure that you don’t mull over that decision for more than a few seconds. Many psychologists have found that decision-making is a finite resource and if you spend too much time on the small decisions you will become more stressed out by a big decision later in the day. The time and stress you save here will help you have an easier time making the larger decisions later and help you have a more productive day.

3. Streamline, Delegate, or Eliminate: Finally you have to take the time to ask yourself why you have so many minor tasks clogging up your day in the first place. Take a good hard look at the many minor tasks on your plate and try to identify a few that you could streamline, delegate, or eliminate. Chances are you won’t be able streamline, delegate, or eliminate too many of your larger tasks but the minor ones can often be shortened or cast aside.

Are minor tasks clogging up your work day and making you less productive? It’s time for you to try these 3 ways to keep minor tasks from becoming major productivity problems! Not every task you handle at work is as important as the next, make sure the minor ones aren’t the source of your productivity problems.