Learn the art of micro-tasking

ADHD Business Tips - Learn the art of micro-tasking

If you’re a business owner with ADHD, I know that you’re no stranger to grand visions and ambitious ideas. Your mind constantly buzzes with innovative concepts and inspiring plans. However, translating those big dreams into reality can often feel like an insurmountable challenge, leading to frustration and overwhelm.

If this is you, I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the many challenges that come with tackling large, complex projects or translating big plans into reality. The excitement of a new idea quickly turns into a daunting mountain of tasks, and before you know it, you’re overwhelmed and stuck in a cycle of procrastination.

It’s a scenario I know all too well myself. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come up with a new product idea or solution to a problem and gone down a rabbit hole of excitement. I might get as far as sitting down to map out all the steps involved – how it will work, how much money it will make me, how I’ll market it etc – before inevitably finding myself paralysed. The sheer enormity of a project can make it feel utterly overwhelming and impossibly complex.

If this rings true for you, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs with ADHD struggle to initiate and follow through on large, multifaceted projects – even when they’re brilliant – because our brains have a hard time conceptualising and tackling such vast undertakings.

Enter micro-tasking

Fortunately, there’s a simple yet powerful technique that can make these behemoth tasks feel much more approachable: micro-tasking.

The concept behind micro-tasking is elegantly straightforward and a true game-changer. Instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of an entire project, you break it down into a series of micro-tasks: bite-sized, actionable steps. By concentrating on completing one tiny task at a time, the work seems less daunting and supremely doable, even for the most distractible ADHD brain. It’s an approach that not only reduces overwhelm but also provides a motivating sense of progress and accomplishment.

Even for smaller projects, micro-tasking is extremely useful. Take the example of cleaning your desk. It might be something you’ve been putting off because you have more important priorities, and/or you don’t think you have the time. But it could also be that you don’t know where to start or you it feels too big, despite not being something you’d consider a “large project”. You might have had “Clean desk” on your to-do list for weeks, but here’s how it might look when turned into micro-tasks:

Clean desk:

  • Remove all items from desk
  • Dust desk surface
  • Wipe down desk with cleaning solution
  • Sort through items and decide what to keep, toss, or file away
  • Tidy and organise drawers
  • Return necessary items back to desk
  • Arrange items neatly on desk
  • Wipe down computer, keyboard, and monitor
  • Sweep or vacuum floor around desk
  • Take out any rubbish or recycling from desk area

Some of the tasks on this list could be done in under a minute, but each one will take you closer to the end result of a clean desk.

Why it works for ADHD brains

There are a few reasons why micro-tasking is so well-suited for those of us with ADHD. First, by focusing on small tasks, you can avoid the paralysing feeling of facing a massive, unconquerable project and get started quickly. Because the tasks are confined to tight timeframes with clear start and end points, they also align brilliantly with the ADHD brain’s ability to hyper-focus for short bursts. We may struggle to maintain concentration over days or weeks, but we can often dive deep into a compact 1-2 hour window.

Micro-tasking also provides a steady stream of novelty and fresh stimulation as we check off each tiny goal and move on to the next. This helps sustain our motivation and interest levels in a way that extensive repetition and monotony simply cannot.

Perhaps most importantly though, micro-tasking nurtures a powerful sense of progress, accomplishment and forward momentum. Each ticked box is a tangible win that propels you closer to the bigger goal. For someone with ADHD who is prone to feeling overwhelmed and stuck, these “quick wins” can be immensely rewarding and galvanising.

Strategies for effective micro-tasking

Ready to harness the power of micro-tasking? Here’s how to do it:

Break down the steps

Start by breaking your large project into smaller, actionable tasks.. Grab a blank sheet of paper and truly map out every component and stage of your larger project or goal. Don’t hold back – an exhaustive list will make your subsequent micro-tasking much more effective.

Be very specific and granular when breaking each component down into micro-tasks. “Research new website design” is still too broad – get down to “Review top 10 web design agencies” and “Send intro emails to 3 designers to request quotes.”

Prioritise & sequence

Sequence your micro-tasks in the optimal order that builds logically from one step to the next. Lay out all the steps visually if needed. Ensure that each step builds upon the previous one. For example, before creating a landing page, you need to have your content figured out.

Set realistic timelines

Timebox each micro-task by assigning it a clear time limit or deadline. This creates urgency and prevents tasks from ballooning. Your deadlines should be realistic to maintain momentum and prevent procrastination. Instead of “update website by end of month” set a daily task like “review and edit copy on homepage” or “check and update links”.

Use a tool or app

Leverage productivity tools to stay on top of your micro-task schedule and to help visualise your progress. Apps like Trello, Asana, or Todoist allow you to create sub-tasks, track your momentum, schedule reminders, and receive notifications to stay on track.

Staying focused & motivated

Even with micro-tasking, staying focused can be a challenge so don’t forget to:

Reward yourself

Build in small rewards for ticking off your micro-tasks – this could be a small treat, a break, or a fun activity – and make sure you have a way to celebrate major milestones as you hit them.

Add variety

Our ADHD brains crave change, so mix up your tasks to keep things interesting. Alternate between different types of activities to prevent boredom. Remember, just because you might have mapped the tasks out in a linear order you don’t necessarily have to complete them in that same order.

Celebrate your wins

As well as rewarding yourself, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate each completed micro-task, no matter how small. This reinforces a sense of achievement and keeps your motivation high.


Pick something that’s been lingering on your to-do list, something that you’ve been putting off – and micro-task it. If you’re not sure how to break it down, try the Magic ToDo tool from Goblin Tools and let it create the micro-tasks for you. Then add them into an app like Todoist where you can assign the micro-tasks to specific days and keep track of your progress.

Micro-tasking isn’t just a productivity hack; it’s a mindset shift. By focusing on small, achievable steps, you transform the way you approach work. This technique can significantly enhance your ability to manage large or complex projects, reduce stress, and improve your overall productivity.

As an ADHD entrepreneur, you have unique strengths and challenges. Embracing micro-tasking can turn what once felt like insurmountable obstacles into a series of manageable, rewarding steps. So go ahead, give it a try, and experience the transformation for yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve, one micro-task at a time.

Until next week,

Next Level ADHD Entrepreneurs Australia Facebook Group

Join our free Facebook community!

Are you an Australian-based business owner with ADHD? Join our free Facebook community!

Execute program for business owners with ADHD

Are you a business owner with ADHD?

Check out our Execute membership program designed specifically with the ADHD entrepreneur in mind!