The Secret – Batch Tasking
The secret to what you ask? Batch tasking is the secret to finally accomplishing the items on your to-do list!
Does this sound familiar? You set out in the morning hopeful in accomplishing three items on your to-do list. Throughout the day you find yourself jumping from one task to the other. Only to end the day exhausted having not completed even one?
How can this be? You spent all day working on those three tasks. Why is it that you were unsuccessful at completing even one of them? The reason is because you spent the entire day multi-talking which is actually the quickest way to unproductivity.
Multi-Tasking is a Myth
Most people, a previous version of myself included, believe we work best when we are juggling multiple items at one time. The truth is we are slowing ourselves down and would be more productive if we switched mindset and focused on one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking is a series of interruptions throughout the day that leave us exhausted and frustrated having worked on so much yet accomplishing nothing. Each time we switch from one task to another our focus is disrupted. The stop and start again process takes more time than if you were to sit down and devote a chunk of time to one task.
What is Batch Tasking?
Enter – Batch Tasking for productivity! Batch tasking is when you set a specific set of time aside to tackle similar typed tasks that require you to use the same tools. For example, I have two outlets of free content for my business Ashleigh Foy for Creatives. One of them is recording Youtube videos.
It is more productive for me to setup my recording equipment and then record more than one Youtube video at a time. Not only do I save time by not having to repeat my setup. I am also able to get through the videos faster by focusing on this one step in my process prior to moving on to the next. My brain can stay focused on content development rather than switching from content development to editing back to content development.
How does one Batch Task?
Great question! Batch tasking has many forms. One of the most popular options is to batch your days. For example, I found that I am less successful at accomplishing my to-do list on days that I have meetings. So rather than losing multiple days to nonproductive hours, I batch the days that I hold meetings. This allows me to have days in my week solely devoted to my to-do list.
You could also batch similar tasks together and set time aside to focus on only that task. As an example, my inbox is a never ending black hole. And I hate to admit that I have spent many days doing nothing but responding to emails. I learned that I could batch task the responses to my emails a few times a week and triage my inbox the remaining days of the week. The amount of time I gained back in my day is unreal! All the while still successfully providing value to my clients.
Bonus Productivity Tips
Anyone who knows me well knows that my phone is always on silent. While it is has caused many side comments from family about my ability to be available and cause for slow responses, it is something that I will never change.
I love the fact that we have these tiny little devices that allow us to connect to any given topic or person at a moments notice. But they are the greatest productive killers ever! My phone never stops going off. We live in a world where the news is delivered right to our palm of our hands, we are constantly being updated on our family and friend’s activities through social media and we are being notified through various means that we have received an email, text, or private message regardless of it importance.
I view checking my phone as a reward. My phone is always on silent and upside down on my desk. When I complete the task at hand, I allow myself time to spend reviewing the various notifications on my phone. I am able to accomplish my to-do list and still stay up to date with all of my friends and family at a time that doesn’t disrupt my goals for the day! I believe in batch tasking so much I even batch task my screen time!