What are 10 min tasks?
10 min tasks simply refers to tasks that can be completed within 10 minutes. This is of course a rough estimate because we can seldom be really precise about the time needed for a task. In practice, it means a small unit of work that can be completed within a small block of time available.
Depending on the scenarios and individuals, a small block of time can also be 2 minutes or 6 minutes or 25 minutes. The aim is to fit tasks into the time available to complete them.
Why are 10 min tasks useful and important?
- 1Time is like money - small fragments can add up to a lot. But unlike money, once you let it go, the time will never be recovered. Do not waste 10 min chunks of time throughout the day. Use them to get things done.
- 2It is not always easy to have block time to work on a project. Instead of waiting for 'one day when I have time', it is more productive to break a large complex project into small tasks that requires smaller energy and time commitment.
- 3The hardest part about starting a project is usually the beginning. 10 min tasks lowers the resistance to get a project started. Once in motion, it will be easier to keep the momentum going.
- 410 min tasks provide quick sense of achievement. Celebrating small wins keeps the enthusiasm going.
- 510 min tasks can be completed quickly without feeling bored.
- 610 min tasks provide a quick opportunity to check results. Depending on the outcome, plans can be adjusted. For example, writing an article for 10 min gives the writer a sense of how much more research is needed, and that creates the foundation for further planning.
Turn 10 minutes spare time into useful time.
There are several scenarios to execute 10 min tasks.
- 1Divide and conquer - for tasks that are part of a bigger project.
Projects are made up of small tasks, many of which take only 10 minutes, or multiples of 10 minute segments to complete.
- 2Errands and recurring tasks.
Many tasks in life are constantly recurring and just need to get done. Examples are house cleaning tasks and filing of documents. Establish a system so that executing these tasks become a habit.
- 3One time, independent tasks that can be completed quickly to clear the mind space for other tasks.
Tips on making the best use of 10 min.
- 1Get organised by listing all your 10 min tasks, and work on them when there are fragments of time. In the waiting room, standing in line, in between appointments, waiting for others, etc. All these are opportunities to chip off tasks on your long to do lists.
- 2Group tasks by location, energy level, tools or materials needed etc. This allows the most suitable tasks to be selected for greatest efficiency. For example while sitting in front of the PC, suitable tasks to work on will include answering emails, filing documents or making a call.
- 3Where time and energy permit, complete multiples of 10 min tasks.
- 4Don't over think it. Just do it.
Tools for managing 10 min tasks.
To assist in the listing and categorisation of tasks, I have prepared a set of '10 min tasks' printable planners.
Format of the printables:
This set of printables are available for purchase in my Etsy store.
Please click on the image on the left to go to the printables page in Etsy.
The pages are sized for A4 and Letter sizes, and can be scaled down to print on A5 and half letter sizes.
The pages can also be filled digitally on tablet PCs, using software like Goodnotes, Notability, Noteshelf or OneNote.
The following 3 files are included:
I have sized the pages for the best print results. Please contact me if you require further information about printing or require other sizes. Have fun planning and doing!