As you may have read in my last post on time blocking, this year has been a big shift in time management for me. So today I’m sharing the other part of what’s working in addition to time blocking – batching tasks.
Batching tasks is a great way to better manage your time and your to-do list.
Batching tasks is simply doing a bunch of like tasks together to save time. Some examples would be meal prep or freezer cooking, cleaning, email replies, phone calls, paying bills, social media, and shopping/errands.
Why does batching help?
It improves focus
Instead of replying to an email every hour when it comes through, setting aside 15 minutes two or three times a day will improve your focus and save you time in the long run.
Our focus improves because we’re not jumping around from task to task or multitasking.
It makes you more efficient
With increased focus comes better efficiency. Once you aren’t interrupted by other tasks you are able to get things done faster and better.
Ok, so now that we’ve talked about WHY batching is a good idea, let’s discuss HOW to get started.
Keep track of what you do each day
This is a great first step in better managing your time – figure out exactly where it is going each day!
For a few days, keep track of what you do all day. You’ll probably be surprised at what you find!
Make a list of tasks you do
Then make a list of tasks from your day that need to be done.
Take a look at your list and figure out what you can combine.
Use time blocking to set up a schedule for when you’re going to batch out your tasks.
Here are some examples:
- Vacuum whole house
- Clean all bathrooms
- Dust whole house
- Cut up veggies
- Cook ground beef
Correspondence – phone calls, emails
The next step can be combined with time blocking – set aside those blocks of time where you’re going to do those batches.
A great principle that can be applied here is the pomodoro technique – focused work for 25 minutes and then a 5 minute break. But don’t forget the break! It’s essential to help your brain switch gears.
Time batching can help you better manage your time and make sure you fit in the things that matter most. It can help you be more focused and efficient in what you’re doing. So let’s get started! Track your time for a couple days, make your list, and decide what to batch first!
What tasks are you going to start trying to batch out?