Today we’re doing a brief review of “the microburst.” This is a simple, doable, motivating solution that can help you to build momentum on projects, tasks, or routines that might feel overwhelming to you.
Essentially, a microburst is 10 minutes of dedicated, distraction-free energy focused on moving you closer to your goals.
Here are a few recent microburst examples from my own life:
(1) Unpacking from a Trip/Cleaning Out My Suitcase
Eric and I just got back from a business conference, and my stuffed suitcase felt pretty overwhelming when I even thought about unpacking it. I took 10 minutes to create simple sub-piles: back to the office, into the bathroom, into the laundry, back to the kitchen, or to put away in the closet. (Then I did just a couple more microbursts to finish it up, and I am now totally unpacked.)
(2) Planning Some Upcoming Events
Eric and I are hosting 4 events in the coming weeks with college students from our church congregation. I needed to coordinate with group leaders who had already signed up, send a reminder email out to a pretty large group of people to make sure they know they’re invited, edit the Google form, update my calendar, and make sure everything felt “done.”
Using the power of the microburst, I quickly opened my computer and set up tabs with my Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and the Google Form. Within 10 minutes, I got all the details settled, and I was amazed at how quickly it came together. This would have otherwise hung over my head for the whole day. 🙂
(3) Creating a Bonus Class for Four Weeks to Finished
Our recent coaching program has been an incredible experience for our team, and tomorrow I am teaching a bonus class on how to use Asana and Evernote for personal and family work. I know the content really well, but I want to do a great job with the class, so I used “the microburst” and put a quick post in our Four Weeks to Finished Facebook group asking everyone what they wanted the outcome of the class to be (what did they want to know/feel?).
We already have 3 comments on that post with great suggestions! I then spent just a few minutes outlining what I think the most important parts of Asana and Evernote are. What would I want to know if I were just starting out?
Now the class is mostly outlined, I have time on my calendar to work on it tomorrow morning, and my mind feels calm and excited!
What principles will help you with YOUR microbursts?
(1) Make sure any PROJECTS are on your Current Projects List.
If your 10-minute task is related to a bigger project (like organizing a whole room or launching a website or planning a vacation), make sure that project is also listed on your Current Projects List. That will ensure you’ll go back to that list for the “next” next action/microburst.
I keep my Current Projects List on a chalkboard in my office, and I also keep it inside Asana.
(2) Add any additional steps (that aren’t dependent on anything else) to your Next Actions List.
A Next Actions list is a weekly list organized by where you ARE when you’re getting the action done. (Home, Errands, To Discuss, Computer, Phone, etc.) Let’s say you’re in the middle of unpacking a suitcase, and you realize you need to order a replacement item. You could open your Next Actions List, add that task to your “computer” area, and then you keep moving. It’s that easy.
(3) Create calendar triggers to support the completion of your work.
Our brains need to know that when we start a microburst, we aren’t going to open Pandora’s box and then end up with a bigger, more stressful mess. The way we solve that is by adding calendared events/tasks (if necessary) to close the loops.
For example, I unpacked a notebook with all my notes from the conference and my Executive Summary of what I’m going to implement. I need to go through that and integrate my new ideas into my existing project/routines lists inside Asana, and I need it done by tomorrow so I can have clarity moving forward in the month of March.
I simply added a calendar trigger/task to tomorrow’s list, and I’ll do that tomorrow! Now my mind isn’t worrying that I’m going to lose that notebook or forget to process those ideas.
When your mind feels safe, it’s amazing how relaxed and creative you feel!
The fact is that there is a LOT going on in the world and in your life right now. As much as we’d like to hope that “things will calm down,” there’s a 100% chance that challenges, opportunities, etc. are going to continue to come our way. But we don’t have to be afraid of those things. The beautiful thing about life is that every day that we have the privilege to open our eyes, we have the ability to make progress, make an impact, lift burdens, and contribute to the world in our unique ways.
The world needs good, organized people. And I believe as we work together, we can become a powerful force.
Sending lots of love and encouragement!!