101.3 Mosquito tasks

Concept

Expectations

Challenge

Steps

Concept

How do you recognize mosquito tasks? Mosquito tasks are the type of tasks that don't take a long time each on their own. But somehow, when many of them come at once or gather over time, they fog up our mind and make us unable to have a clear focus.

We will work on organizing these tasks so that they don't hang around your head without letting you be productive, but also that they get sorted in time. We will gather all such tasks and reserve a half an hour slot at the end of your day (as many days a week as you need to), where you will address them in batches.

What to Expect

After a while, you will start to get a feel for how many of these appointments you need per week, by just looking at the length of your list.

You can assess if there is anything in there that you should prioritize or whether you need to organize an emergency Mosquito Tasks Session by simply observing if you are compulsively thinking about certain tasks. Your constant thinking about these tasks is your brain's attempt to remember them all and reminding you about them constantly is interrupting your focus.

One of the hardest things about this is not to have these sessions at the beginning of the day. When done at the beginning of the day, they can take up a big chunk of your flow time, and you might become unable to get into a flow state afterwards (as mosquito tasks require action, rather than a relaxed exploratory flow state).

      Resisting the compulsion of thinking of those tasks early in the morning and acting on them is a process of developing trust within yourself that you will get around to doing those things, without having to obsess yourself about them at all times. Peace of mind comes with you trusting yourself, and letting go of insecurity and compulsion.

See blogpost 101.3 Mosquito tasks.

Challenge

Get a notebook or open a document file which you can access on the go. We will call this the Mosquito Tasks Pad! Throw in there all the mosquito tasks that come to mind. Add deadlines in red on the side if they are any (like for paying your credit card bill, or replying to an offer in time). Do NOT bother adding deadlines for the other ones, else you might end up wanting to do everything today.

  • Always add the mosquito tasks that come to mind in that same place.
  • Dedicate half an hour of time in your calendar (preferably at the end of your work schedule, AFTER you did the important things) to focus on the mosquito task. Start with the ones that have a deadline attached to them.
  • Stop after half an hour, assess how much is left to do, and make an appointment with your next batch of mosquito tasks.

Setting Challenge Steps

Select how many times you wish to practice the skills in this challenge in order to build a habit around them.

After completing this challenge you will gain skills and earn a badge for your profile. I will practice this exercise times.

I will practice this exercise times.