What is Batching?
Batching, also known as “batching your tasks”, is a way to organize your performance and task management.
With batching, rather than completing your work by overall project. you work on the same type of tasks, one after the other, in one chunk of time. (This ties in nicely with Time Blocking.)
Rather than work on one whole project throughout the day, you work on the same part/same type of task for several projects. Once you’re done you can move onto a different type of task all together.
Think about it this way… you could make ONE chocolate chip cookie. You’d gather the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and chocolate chips. You’d measure out enough of each to make one cookie. You’d preheat the oven, and bake the cookie until it was done. You could follow those steps one at a time until you have a dozen cookies. But making one cookie at a time will take a LONG time.
Instead, you’ll make a BATCH of cookies. You still have to gather the ingredients, mix them together, form the cookies, and bake them. But by making a BATCH of cookies at once, you are saving yourself a TON of time. Mass production works, and not just for baking…
A great example of batching is the blog post process. There are so many steps including…
- picking your topic
- researching your topic
- making an outline
- filling in the outline
- writing a first draft
- editing the draft
- finalizing the draft
- creating graphics for the blog post
- scheduling the post for publication
- social media distribution
Instead of performing each task one at a time in order to complete one blog post, you would perform each of the tasks for several blog posts. By the time you make your way through the list, you’ll have completed several blog posts, not just one.
With batching, when you work on many posts at once, it doesn’t take much longer than working on just one post. Overall it will save you time.
It may feel counter-intuitive at first, but by doing things this way, you will actually get more work done at a higher quality.
To use the blog post example… by the time you finish each of the tasks on the list above, you’ll have several blog posts done and ready to go. This is why it is a great idea to plan ahead. If you plan for a month’s worth of content. You can finish it all in a matter of hours in one or two sittings, rather than struggling each week to complete a blog post.
Why Does Batching Work?
Once your brain is in a certain mode, it wants to stay there. If you are writing about a certain topic, your brain will be far more efficient if you continue writing, even if you move on to a different topic.
It will take far more time and processing energy to switch to another task (like creating the graphics for the post you’re working on) even though it is a task for the same overall project.
If your brain has to switch back and forth between different kinds of tasks, it takes extra time to shift into that different mode. You will save time in the long run if you create all the graphics for all your posts in one sitting, rather than creating them each time you’re working on a single blog post.
TLDR: organize your work by tasks rather than by project. Your brain will thank you!
Watch the video for more insights into Batching…
Want more information?
Check out the book Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland and J.J. Sutherland. They discuss batching, eliminating waste from your work flow, and so much more.
I have the hardcover version, but I also listened to the audio book. There are SO many nuggets of productivity gold in this book. It really is worth several reads and listens.
If you’d like to check out the book yourself, here are the links:
This is part 5 of the series How To Create A Time Management System That Works For You.
You can view the rest of the series here:
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