What if I told you that you could complete your to-dos in less time and with better results?
Would you want to hear more?
My secret to achieving just that– Time Batching.
It’s been called batch processing or time batching, but what is this magical time saver exactly?
Time batching is a method of completing similar tasks in a set period of time to be more efficient.
So what type of tasks can you batch? These are some tasks I’ve tried batching and tips to help you along the way.
Tasks You Can Batch
Errands. Make sure you have plenty of time reserved to knock out all your errands without feeling rushed. Wear comfortable shoes and take a snack.
Cooking. I know some people like to cook all their food on the weekends, but I’m a little too lazy to do a massive cooking session like that. But it’s really easy to cook meat you’ll need for the week, like shredded chicken or ground meats. Chopping all the veggies you will need for the week saves a lot of time later on too.
Emails. My number one tip here is to only check your email when you have the time to respond to them thoughtfully. You can also set reminders in your phone to check and respond to emails twice each day. Then turn off your email on your phone, so you won’t be tempted to check it more often.
Phone Calls. Scheduling appointments, calling about bills or even calling friends or family members can take a chunk of time. Carve out an hour or so and tackle them all one right after another. This is a task that is actually made for multitasking, so you could make calls while cleaning, folding laundry or washing dishes.
Meal Planning. I just discovered the beauty of meal planning for a longer period of time last month. At the beginning of January, I planned all the meals for the entire month. It took me about 90 minutes to do, but it saved me so much time throughout the month. The secret here is to pick meals your family loves so you will still be interested in eating that meal later in the month.
Cleaning. Although this method of cleaning doesn’t work for me in this season of life, it might for some of you. Block out a couple of hours on the weekend for the whole family to pitch in and clean the whole house.
Social Media Time. This requires a lot of discipline for me, but try scrolling through social media only once or twice each day. And set a timer to limit how long you are actually on there. This one can save tons of time. Recent stats show that each time we’re on Facebook, we’re spending 20 minutes reading, and we all know we are checking in more than once a day.
Online Research. We love to look up things online– everything from what we may be sick with to party planning to where we’re going on vacation. But the Internet can easily suck you in, and one hour later, you find yourself watching YouTube videos of Jimmy Fallon. Instead, keep a list of all the things you’d like to look up online, and reserve an hour or two every other day to do your research. But you’ll get more done if you stick to the tasks on the list only, and save the videos for another time.
Casual Reading. I love reading blog posts. I find them on Pinterest, Facebook and the blogs I actually subscribe to. But I can waste a lot of time reading one thing after another. Save all of these to a reading list and enjoy them before bed or when you’re waiting somewhere.
Work Tasks. Whether you work as a homeschooling mom, network marketer, 9-to-5 professional or something else entirely, you can take advantage of batching to tackle your tasks. Just make a list of what tasks you do regularly, group them into categories, set a specific time to work on each category and minimize distractions.
I admit this way of completing things may be hard to adjust to at first. That’s because we are used to living with distractions 24/7.
We will be working on one thing when someone asks us a question, the phone rings, we get a text message or our phone chimes with an email or social media notification. And on top of all that, we may have music or the TV on in the background.
Doing focused work on one thing is a lost art.
An art worth rediscovering.
Time batching is just one technique I share in my free guide filled with ways to reclaim your time. Sign up here to get the guide with 24 more tips and my weekly email newsletter.