zen habits : breathe

Conquer Your Day with Mini-Missions

By Leo Babauta

You haven’t been very productive lately, admit it.

You’ve been watching too many videos, cruising your favorite social media, haven’t exercised in too long … you’re slipping, my friend.

I’ve got the fix for you. Mini-missions.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You set yourself a few mini-missions for the day. For example: 1) Write Zen Habits post, 2) Workout, 3) Shoot video lesson for Sea Change Simplify Your Life course. Ideally, they don’t last for more than 15 minutes, but you could do mini-missions of 20-30 minutes if you’re feeling strong.
  2. Pick one mission, and get yourself ready. Stand up, stretch, move your body, psyche yourself up to conquer the mission. Play some pump-up music. Clear your computer or work area. Dive in.
  3. Stay focused, power through, kick some butt.
  4. Reward yourself when you’re done. Raise your fist in victory, then allow yourself a treat. For example: you get to check your favorite social media or watch a Youtube video, or eat that cookie you’ve been craving after your workout.

You can repeat this several times each day, up to five times. If you accomplish five mini-missions in a day, that’s amazing! Give yourself an extra reward.

If it helps, tell someone about your next mission, ask them to hold you accountable.

But even without accountability, you can get yourself psyched up and focused on one mini-mission at a time. Why does this work? Because you’re setting something accomplishable but important in front of yourself, and getting yourself motivated for 10-20 minutes. This is doable. And you’re making it fun, playing a game, not making it drudgery. Play is an amazing way to get things done.

If you can set yourself mini-missions every day, you’re going to see some amazing results.

OK, I’m done with this mini-mission, time for a cookie!



Join two million breath-taking readers: rss | email | twitter