Mini-missions: making the everyday exciting

Bonus Session

Using mini-missions can put your mind in scavenger hunt mode and help you find value where you're not normally looking.

Virtual Pass session


6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Monday 13th


Room F1+F2+F3 - Plenary


Anyone who wants to challenge themselves or who can use a little help with motivation


  • Learn to find value where you hadn’t thought to look before
  • Learn how to change your mindset from one of fear or 'being stuck' to one of curiosity, playfulness and inquisitiveness
  • Get some practice by starting with your own mini-missions at ATD
  • Take mini-missions home: learn how to use mini-missions in, and tailor them to, any situation

A few years ago, a friend told me he was stressed about a journey around the globe with multiple transfers. To help him take his mind off the stress, I set out little scavenger hunts, which I called mini-missions, that he could do at any airport in the world. ‘Send me three pictures of fake plants before you reach your final destination', 'Write a 4-line poem about one of the airports'; doable little tasks like these. This made all the difference: by keeping him busy, the journey went from something he was dreading to something he could actually enjoy as it was happening.

Ever since, I've been setting myself and my friends little scavenger hunts when we're struggling to be motivated or when we're anxious about something. These playful little quests can make something daunting or plain boring feel a little more fun and they help you get out of one mindset and into another one.

Engaging in little quests can help you become more oriented towards problem solving, and help you relax and get creative. Mini-missions are low-stakes and short-term, so there is no harm done if you don't complete (all of) them - just a little dopamine boost when you do! I think mini-missions could be beneficial to the attendees at ATD, too.

For instance, would you like to meet new people but you’re not sure how?

Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the astounding selection of sessions, and you don’t know how to choose?

Or do you feel like you could get more out of ATD than 'just talks', but not sure what?

Then this session is for you! How this session will work: First I’m going to explain the concept of mini-missions in a bit more detail. I’ll tell you in what kind of situations I typically benefit from mini-missions, and how I tailor the missions to the situation. This is the part where you’ll learn how you can continue to use this technique after the conference, at work or in your personal life. After the theory, it’ll be a hands-on session! I’ll provide some examples of mini-missions that could be fun to try, and we’ll brainstorm some more as a group. Then everyone can decide on how many and which mini-missions they want to set themselves. Of course if you’d like a challenge, you can ask other participants to set you some mini-missions instead! For those desiring accountability: there will be (fully optional, voluntary) follow-up moments on the following days where participants can come together and discuss how their missions are going. Are you making progress, did you get anything out of it, do you need to adjust your missions? Let’s get together again and share our experiences!

Related Sessions

2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Creative Space Room - Track 9: Bonus Sessions

Bonus Session

2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Room D3+D4 - Track 8: Workshops

120-minute Workshop

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
F-,E- & D-Rooms

Full-Day Tutorial (6 hours)