On the sub-optimal economics of my daily online micro-task routine

in LeoFinance2 months ago (edited)

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:

  1. Check my emails
  2. Respond to some emails (may break into several different micro-tasks)
  3. Check my Sellfy sales
  4. Check my edugram sales
  5. Check WordPress feed and respond
  6. Update one WP post for SEO purposes
  7. Do my cryptobrewmaster tasks
  8. Check-in to Discord
  9. Check Exode discord/ markets/ drops
  10. Play Splinterlands daily quest
  11. Check Splinterlands market
  12. Check Hive and Leo feeds, comment and upvote
  13. Check Hive and Leo replies
  14. Typically buy some Hive-engine tokens
  15. Check curation returns and tweak Hive-Voter (may not be every day)
  16. Publish daily Hive post (different to writing it)
  17. Cross post to PublishOx (and more recently Blurt)
  18. Check crypto limit buys and sells
  19. Check the News
  20. 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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This is why I love reflecting and writing down things (on paper or like this, in a post) - it's a great way to check in with yourself and see what's working well/what needs to change.

I waste waaay more time online, on distractions and other not so productive things so I might need to do some reflecting myself.

It's incredible isn't it - the next thing I need to do is learn from the experience! I've just spent another 20 minutes flitting around the internet since I wrote this, waiting for a local coffee shop to open, so I can go spend some money on another habit!

There's always tomorrow I guess.

the next thing I need to do is learn from the experience

I can relate 100%!

Enjoy your Sunday morning coffee. :)

I am. Cheers! And I'm back on here! Oops.

My micro-task of checking Hive tends to be a bit macro. How's it going with Blurt? I see it as another drain on my time, so plan to just power down and sell.

I do tend to do all my Hiving in one go, so I could call it macro, but it tends to feel a bit fragmented, so it's more micro in essence.

All I do on Blurt is cross post the odd thing a few days delayed from on here, there's very little interaction going down - also because they took the snap shot quite late, most of the large accounts are Koreans I think.

I can't imagine there's going to be much development done over there, I am PDing around 70% - but I don't hold out much hope for getting a decent price - someone's running a bot on ionomy which is irritating.

Great reflection, I need to do one myself. Splinterlands daily quest only 5 mins at peak efficiency is not enough or you made an average with the other micro tasks which take way less?

Oh it's an average, the quests typically take longer - but not that long, I tend to wait a few days with each new season, then I can just drill through with 5 wins a row typically. Makes it quicker, I don't enjoy the game very much, TBH.