If you are someone that never seems to stop moving, is constantly bouncing from one task to another, and still can’t catch up, then time-batching might be the perfect option for you.
This is not about time blocking, though that is also a great method to use. You aren’t choosing each individual task to perform at certain times of the day like in time blocking, but instead batching similar tasks together in order to be more effective and productive.
Why Should You Time-Batch?
Before we get into the steps needed to start time-batching, let’s go over some of the reasons why this might be a good idea for you.
You Don’t Have to Multi-Task
Multi-tasking is rarely good for productivity, even though the opposite seems true. Every time you switch from one task to another, your focus and energy gets interrupted. With time batching, you are doing similar tasks all in one chunk of time, getting them all out of the way and not interrupting your focus as much.
Time-Batching Helps Save Time
You will actually be saving yourself a lot of time for other things. If you never seem to get everything on your to-do list done, give time batching a try and see if it helps. In summary, time-batching allows you to get more done in less time so that you can have more free time later.
How to Time-Batch
Now let’s move on to the steps needed to start time-batching your tasks.
1. Wake up Early
This is the first and most important step. You need to give yourself enough time to actually get things done. If you are someone that hits snooze a few times before finally getting out of bed, then this is going to be hard to do.
2. Set a Schedule
You need to set a schedule and stick to it. This is going to help you stay on track and not get sidetracked by other things that come up during the day.
3. Focus on One Thing at a Time
This is key. You need to focus on one thing at a time and not try to do too many things at once. This is where time-blocking can come in handy.
4. Take Breaks
Make sure to take breaks in between tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed. This is also a good time to check your phone or social media if you need a break from work.
5. Set a Time Limit
Set a time limit for each task so that you don’t get bogged down. This will help you move on to the next task and not get stuck on one thing.
6. Reward Yourself
Finally, make sure to reward yourself for completing a task. This will help you stay motivated and keep going.
Tips for Productive Time-Batching
Ready to get time-batching? Here are some things to know and steps to take to get started.
You need to group similar tasks together
To start with, the tasks you batch together need to be the same or at least similar. This might include all tasks using a specific program, all brainstorming tasks, or all writing tasks. If you have a lot of paperwork to do, get it all done during time batching, instead of doing paperwork, then writing, then making calls.
Choose a time of day when you are in the flow for that type of work
Everyone has flow states, where you can do certain types of work more efficiently during different times of the day. If you film videos for YouTube as part of your job, think of the time of day when you feel most motivated to do this. That is probably going to be your flow state.
Be realistic with how long it will take to complete
Don’t assume you can get these tasks done in an hour, if you are doing 4 times more than you typically would since you are batching the tasks together. It might take a little time figuring out how long you need to schedule for each batch of time.