I define micro-tasks as those goal-oriented activities which I've decided are necessary to maintain both by income and my social networks, and which take anything from a few seconds to around 15 minutes. (The 'online' and 'daily' aspects shouldn't need defining!)
Checking e-mails is probably the best-known example of something I'd define as a daily online 'micro-task'!
I don’t have a hard and fast rule for when a ‘micro-task’ becomes a ‘regular task’, but certainly by the time I’m up to spending 20 minutes on something, that feels like enough of a time span for me to think of it as not being a micro-task any more.
This 20 minute span is subjective and arbitrary, and I’ve probably settled on it because that’s the minimum amount of time I’d usually spend meditating or exercising, and it’s also a fairly normal tea-break kind of time – whatever, by the time I’m up to spending 20 minutes doing something, my brain-thing defines that as a regular task, or even a ‘chore’, rather than a micro-task.
My daily micro tasks
There are several of these online micro-tasks which I’ve decided (or feel compelled) I need to do at least once a day:
- Check my emails
- Respond to some emails (may break into several different micro-tasks)
- Check my Sellfy sales
- Check my edugram sales
- Check WordPress feed and respond
- Update one WP post for SEO purposes
- Do my cryptobrewmaster tasks
- Check-in to Discord
- Check Exode discord/ markets/ drops
- Play Splinterlands daily quest
- Check Splinterlands market
- Check Hive and Leo feeds, comment and upvote
- Check Hive and Leo replies
- Typically buy some Hive-engine tokens
- Check curation returns and tweak Hive-Voter (may not be every day)
- Publish daily Hive post (different to writing it)
- Cross post to PublishOx (and more recently Blurt)
- Check crypto limit buys and sells
- Check the News
- Daily planning (not so much online, but it’s so fundamental I had to include it).
Now my social networks aren’t going to fragment, and my income isn’t going to dry up if I don’t check-in with these tasks every single (work) day, but I typically do check-in once a day, and usually weekends too, every single one of these tasks either helps maintain a social connection or helps to maintain my income in some way.
On a definitional note, none of the above involves actually reading, researching, writing, marking, teaching, which are the core activities of how I make my money - but many of the above tasks are crucial to keeping my earning money from such 'core tasks'.
These tasks take a long time – especially the ones related to Hive/crypto
If I’m operating at peak efficiency these tasks take on average around five minutes each, so that’s a full-on 90 minutes every day just on ‘online work-maintenance’.
However, because I’m rarely that disciplined I tend to end up flitting back and forwards between windows, especially when I’m doing Splinterlands quests, and these daily chores can easily end up taking 2 hours or more. AND I quite frequently end up making several visits a day to these tasks rather than just one.
A lot of the above daily tasks are related to crypto and hive, and so I guess I should factor in this time when I work out my hourly earnings rate from crypto.
The sub-optimal economics of online micro-tasks
Sitting here looking at the above list, I’m amazed I’ve never done this kind of in-depth time-review before – up to 2 hours a day, possibly 10 hours a week flitting back and forth over ‘micro-tasks’ is just such a crap use of time when it isn’t necessary to do this every day.
I’m sure I’d be better off doing these tasks every other day, or even every third day, and using the several hours I’d spare to read a book or write something quite long form – that would be far more productive economically than skittish online micro-interactions.
I could write something pretty decent in 4-5 hours, which is the time I’d save by just making this compulsion an every other day compulsion rather than a daily one.
On further reflection, I think I may have ended up here through a 'frog in boiling water' progression - I've been working from home now for two years, blogging on various platforms, and my 'daily online micro tasks' have gradually increased in both total number and time per task - I guess I just hadn't realised how much time they're now taking!
I need to change my habits!
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