How to Get More Done in Less Time With Batching
I'm in a season of hustle right now.
I have long-term plans that I'm working toward, but getting there involves a lot of work in the short term. Not only do have a lot of work to do, but it's a lot of different types of work. I don't know about you, but I struggle with that.
I'm currently juggling:
- Design work
- Meetings with clients
- Blogging (2-3 posts per week)
- Youtube (I try for 1 post per week)
- eCourses (when I don't have design work)
- Marketing for all of the above
- Emails for HCC
- Charm & Gumption customer service emails, social media, etc.
- Housework (or keeping the house clean enough to maintain sanity)
- Working out (I try for 2-3 times per week)
- Family time
It's a lot.
The hardest part for me is transitioning from task to task. There is a big energy drain that happens when you switch from doing one type of work to another. Once I'm in a certain frame of mind, I just want to buckle down and do that type of work all day long.
One of the biggest lessons that I learned from The 4-Hour Workweek, and the strategy that is allowing me to get as much done as possible, is batching.
Batching is simply arranging your tasks in categories or groups in order to maximize productivity. In other words, rather than going from task to task throughout the day, you save all like-tasks for the same chunk of time.
Here are some ways that I "batch" my work:
Before: Write one blog post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Now: Write 3 blog posts on one day of the week.
Before: Do a little bit of housework every day (one room per day).
Now: Do all housework on Saturday.
Before: Leave email open all day, and check emails as they come in.
Now: Check email twice: at lunch and at the end of the day.
Before: Schedule appointments at various times throughout the week.
Now: Schedule client appointments on Tuesday afternoons and other appointments on Thursday afternoons.
This is why it works:
- You stay focused.
When you have an email tab open all day long, and you're trying to work on something, you know that when you see that pesky little (1), you'll have to click over and check out your new email. That is wasting your time, yo! You're breaking your focus and getting out of your flow. Batching creates a system of intense focus for a controlled amount of time.
- It saves energy.
You would be surprised the amount of energy and efficiency that you waste just from "start up" and "slow down" time (starting and finishing tasks) multiple times per day.
- Multi-tasking is a myth.
As much as we all like to think that we can do lots of things at once, the truth is we just can't. Multitasking creates a stressful environment and drains you of your creative energy (not good).