Increase Your Productivity & Save Time with Task Batching

For years I've called myself a great multitasker and thought that multitasking is the way to get lots accomplished. The more I work on improving my productivity the more I learn that being a multitasker really brings down how much I get done!

This really is the same for most people. When you go between tasks all the time you're not devoting quality time to getting the tasks accomplished. Multitasking doesn't work for the simple fact that by interrupting yourself to do many small things at once pulls your attention so much that you are only doing many things partially well instead of focusing on one thing very well. 

I've read that it can take you several minutes to refocus when you've been interrupted as well. So you think about how during your multitasking you interrupt yourself quite a few times to bounce from task to task and you've wasted quite a bit of times. 

One way I've been using to combat the multitasking bounce around is task batching. 

Task batching is when you group together the same task or similar types of tasks for a set amount of time. Such as writing a new blog post. To write this post I've told myself I'm going to sit and write about task batching for 30 minutes. Focusing on the one topic and eliminating distractions for that set time. 

When I set up batches of tasks I find myself more focused. Before I was always trying to figure out what to work on. Using the blog example again I'd open up several drafts not really being into any. By batching the topics I made myself focus. 

There are so many areas of your life that could be improved by task batching. It doesn't not have to be something you use just for work type pursuits. 

I have found that things like prepping lunches for the week or batching a certain type of cleaning really makes a difference in how much time I'm spending on these tasks each day or week. 

If you're not sure where to start with task batching here four things to look at in your life to see if you task batch them. 

Cooking & meal prep
Since I already mentioned this one above I'll start off with it here. We do all of our shopping on Sunday morning to kick off our week so it makes sense to meal prep on Sunday as well. Pick the day of the week that works best for you and your food schedule. 

I will pull out all the tools needed to prep the veggies and fruits for lunches and some dinners for the week. Maybe you like to pre-cook meals too. Instead of doing it once in the morning before heading to work cook a larger batch on the weekend then all you have to do is grab and go in the morning. 

Planning is usually that larger picture type of thinking that you really need time to do it right. On the fly planning doesn't usually produce the best results. 

This doesn't always happen but most weeks I try to sit down with Kevin and plan out what our week looks like. What we're having for dinner, who will be out what night, what bigger things are we planning on accomplishing this week. 

Working together once at the beginning of the week sets us both up for success. We both know what is happening during the week, can accomplish the plans effectively and hopefully avoid as much frustration as we can. 

These types of tasks are perfect for batching. Instead of doing cleaning randomly throughout the week once you pull out the supplies or start the laundry make a point of tackling all of those types of tasks. 

I think most of us are more likely to not complete a task when we leave parts of it for another day. 

One area that I am terrible with is not checking my emails throughout the day. Like many things when I stop to check emails randomly throughout the day I end up wasting so much time. Takes me too long to get back on to track or I end up scrolling through my emails. 

Instead of checking it often try to make a point to check it once or twice each day. Sitting down and checking them all at once will increase your productivity and decrease your distraction and wasted time. 

Have you tried task batching? What areas of your life have you successfully batched or could use some batching?

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