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From Multi-Tasking to Windfall-Tasking — Double, Triple, 10x Your Output!
One Well Orchestrated Action for a Flurry of Beneficial Reactions

From Multi-Tasking to Windfall-Tasking — Double, Triple, 10x Your Output!

One Well Orchestrated Action for a Flurry of Beneficial Reactions

Originally published at ViralML.com

Art: Lucas Amunategui

They say the world is your oyster, but for the competitive multi-tasker, it can be a bushel of oysters. If you like multitasking, you’re gonna love windfall-tasking!

I cherry-picked an example for you, it’s an extreme one and I don’t always “windfall” that well, not even close. But this should illustrate the power of windfall-tasking. I recently published this piece on my blog at ViralML entitled “5 Global Data Sources That Every Data Scientist Should Know About!” 

But it never started as a blog post, not even close. Instead, it rose out effortlessly from the entrails of a previous task —it was a reaction, a by-product — all part of the windfall. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg! I took this much, much further. I milked it for all its worth and you should do the same with whatever you create.

Hollywood has been doing it for decades with its marketing and merchandising machine and so should you.

Multitasking

Most of us multitask with little strategy or for the wrong reasons. We do it when we’re overwhelmed with our workload and can’t concentrate. You know, when you end up with 50 browser tabs open… a nightmare. Or when we have too many tasks due, like at the end of the school year, or in finance before an important reporting period. For the unlucky ones that have more than one boss and they all tell you, “yes this is the most important thing, this is your priority… blah, blah, blah”. And we all do it when we are bored, we task hop hoping that the next thing will be more fun or engaging.

There’s even a study from Ohio State University arguing that we’re addicted to multitasking.

“The findings showed that emotional and habitual needs were most satisfied by multitasking, even if learning and thinking skills were reduced in the process.”
Cari Nierenberg

Really? Emotional support? I can think of plenty of other ways to find emotional support, starting with binging something on Netflix for example, before relying on work!

In the Beginning 

This all started with a throw-away set of show notes for a future YouTube video. 

The notes lead to the YouTube video as planned:

This topic is really important to me. Anything around global datasets for social good is part of my core message and I always want to stretch and spread this kind of stuff over all my channels.

So after doing the video, I went back to the show notes and removed on-camera instructions, speech notes, extra spaces, capitalized words, etc and turned it into a cohesive article on Medium. I often write on Medium, not necessarily to publish it but just as a quick and dirty free cloud-based web editor. It comes with minimal options and you can drag and drop images, this is a perfect tool to focus on writing and nothing else. But in this case, I did hit the publish button and even embedded the video I did earlier into it! Why not, it’s all about reach, right?

I then transferred it to my own blog on ViralML.com. So, if you are keeping tally, the original show notes yielded:

  • a YouTube video
  • a Medium post
  • a ViralML blog post

So for 1 action, 3 reactions so far, not bad. Of course, I tweeted about it! So the original show notes yielded:

  • a YouTube video
  • a Medium post
  • a ViralML blog post
  • a tweet 

I also shared a synopsis and a link in my weekly newsletter. So, from the show notes:

  • a YouTube video
  • a Medium post
  • a ViralML blog post
  • a tweet
  • weekly newsletter

And I added a shortened version in my autoresponder sequence (a series of automated emails sent to members after they sign up). So, from the top:

  • show notes
  • a YouTube video
  • a Medium post
  • a ViralML blog post
  • a tweet
  • weekly newsletter
  • auto-responder

If you add the original show notes into the mix, that’s a 7x output or 7-fold windfall! It was a good day.

Windfall-Tasking

So “windfall-tasking”, yes, I made the term up but I think it's fitting. Some of you may already think this way, others may leverage this in spurts either haphazardly or after taking that beneficial step back to understand the bigger picture. The key is to remind ourselves to do it and do it regularly.

This avalanche of productivity doesn’t always happen. To bring this concept home, think about this back-of-the-envelope calculation, most of us do one unit of work, for one unit of output, right? Well, this requires one-and-a-half units of work, but can yield 2, 3,10x outputs!

Now there’s a corollary piece to this, just as important when you take that time to strategize about your next move if it doesn’ fit into a windfall-task, i.e. it won’t yield anything beyond a 1x output, should you still do it?

So, how do you think I’m going to windfall-task this video?


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Originally published at ViralML.com