Use Batching for Greater Personal Productivity

Just about everyone these days has too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Just " Getting things done " seems to take up more and more of our time.  There are hundreds of books, seminars, techniques , etc. that deal with personal productivity and ways to get things done more quickly and efficiently.  Every situation is different and what works for one person in the area of getting things done may not work at all for another.  There is one personal productivity technique, however,  that can be effective for just about everyone.  This is a techinque called batching.  When used with reoccuring tasks, batching is a technique where selected tasks are not performed each time the opportunity arises, but rather saved until a predetermined amount or predetermined date/time has occured.  There are two main reasons why batching tasks can be such a great thing for people who are trying to stay organized and free up time.

  • The overall time spent on a specific task decreases.  A simple example would be:  Going online 3 times during the week to pay 10 bills is going to take longer than going online once a week to pay all 10 bills.  Same result, less time.
  • Using batching and  putting reoccuring tasks on a schedule will take these tasks off of your mind since they are in a system that is part of your weekly/daily schedule.  You can spend your time thinking about other more important things.

Some of the reoccuring tasks that I have batched an the intervals in which I perform these tasks.

At Home

  • Bill paying - Once a week,  Sunday evening
  • Desk Organizing - Once a week, Sunday evening
  • Laundry - Once a week, Thursday evening.  Whites - Every two weeks
  • Grocery Shopping - Once a week, Monday evening
  • Gas - Once a week, after grocery shopping

At Work

  • Checking Email - 9am, 1pm and 4pm
  • Checking Voicemail - same
  • Filing - Once a week, Friday afternoon
  • Weekly planning - Friday afternoon for next week with update and review on Monday

In the above examples, for me, there were some unintended added time savings when these tasks were batched.  After a few weeks, additional trips to the grocery store during the week were all but eliminated.  I never was washing and drying clothes late at night or early in the morning before work.  At work, I was always able to locate items because they have been filed in a timely manner.

These are just some of examples of how batching has worked for me.   I suggest selecting a few of these tasks and perhaps and few other reoccuring tasks of yours which come to mind and try the batching technique for a  couple of months.  You may see the benefits right away but it might take a few weeks for the time savings and peace of mind difference to become noticeable.  Once you are hooked, start adding more and more reoccuring tasks to what is already on your batch schedule.  Give it a try and Good Luck !