Thursday, June 10, 2010

Microtasking in More Time Now

Monkey recently read Dave Navarro's More Time Now manifesto - it's a good read, but only if you want the earth-shaking kick in the pants to stop wasting time and to take action to realize your goals. As Monkey + Seal constantly discuss, Dave's tone is a bit brusque, which works okay with Monkey, but is a bit of a turn-off with Seal. That said, there is one thing that we'd like to highlight that is one of Dave's best tips.

That is the idea of microtasking. When you have a large goal that seems rather large, it pays to find something small (almost embarrassingly small) to do every day. For example, if you want to change your current behavior of leaving huge piles of dishes in the sink, instead of saying to yourself "I'm going to wash all these dishes and never let the dishes go unwashed" you're setting yourself up for failure. It's the reason diets are so hard. You're basically going cold-turkey, which usually doesn't work for most people.

Instead, you need to take a graduated approach. If you want to break you bad habit, prioritize washing one dish every day. Or just a utensil. Something small. Do that for a week, and eventually, you'll turn it into a habit. Then, slowly and surely, you'll start doing a second fork, since you're already doing one. And then maybe a dish or two, since it's easy once you're already going. Eventually, you'll just start doing your dishes on autopilot, and burn through the stack no problemo.

To take this approach to art, Monkey has found that microtasking really works! He started out his "post art every day" in order to get in the habit of making art at a more consistent pace. Now, he finds it difficult when he's not making art. If you look at his personal blog, you see him start to post things like drawings on envelopes, or quick digital sketches. Now, while he doesn't always make the time to do a longer digital illustration, he's definitely producing more and more, and not everything is making it onto the blog.

My making "illustrating" a habit, Monkey is slowly but surely taking time away from surfing the web and playing Bejeweled Blitz and spending more time creating. He highly recommends it! Start small, and you'll end up changing everything.


Zoey said...

Thanks for this post! Well written and good information :)

Btw, you might like Robert Maurer's book on Kaizen called, "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way" It goes into more of the psychology behind microtasking from a Kaizen perspective.

Can't wait to check out more of your sketches!

Monkey + Seal said...

Great, thanks for the suggestion!