Batch Processing: Managing Your Time Wisely

I’m trying a new time management system. It has been very successful for bloggers and other super busy individuals. I’m into my third day of utilizing it and I’m very happy with the results.

 

Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has some great posts on what is called Batching or Batch Processing. It involves dedicating blocks of time to tasks. It provides focus and productivity; and reduces distractions and wasted time. Just what my life is yearning for. Many professionals will probably tell you the exact or ideal way to execute batching. I’m going to tell you how I do it.

Do you plan your week based on the day of the week? 
I’ve read many articles about planning what do on Mondays, Tuesdays… I wish I could do that more effectively. However, my tasks fluctuate depending on what’s happening in my household and my life overall. This Monday is never the same as next Monday. Because of that, I have been planning each weekday on the evening prior. That’s what works for me.

 

 

I list all the things that I need to do the following day in a notebook. Not a long to-do list–but a batch list with areas of focus. Below is what my typical batch list looks like.

 

 

 

After writing down the batched tasks, I assign a window of time to each depending on what I expect the next day to be like. I try to pad the time to allow for unexpected occurrences like the phone ringing, doorbell ringing, etc.

 

Some days this list has half of these tasks on it and the others are replaced with going out and running errands, preparing a meal that is time consuming, and doing a home project. As I said before, each day is different in my world. However, all things can still be done–just not all in the same day. Makes for less stress and more productivity.

 

 

Most weekdays I am fortunate enough to have 7.5 to 8 hours of time between The Deuce leaving for school and him returning home. This is when I can be most productive.

While assigning a time frame to the batched tasks, I also jot down some specific tasks as a guide next to them.

 
Do you utilize several social media sites at one time? 
I did not group the social media sites above into one batch. I give each site its own time frame. That eliminates the flip flopping between each one, which I am prone to do.  I also don’t need as much time for some as I do for others.
Use a timer to stay on track. Because the majority of my tasks are online, it can be a struggle to stay focused and not wander onto other sites. The timer also helps to make adjustments where needed. I do a quick assessment of how much time I actually spent on the batched tasks and how much time I have left.
Batching my everyday tasks allows me to begin something and complete it. It reduces the number of times I jump from one thing to the next.

This is not a fool-proof system. Some tasks will take longer than you anticipated, distractions will creep in, and your spouse may choose to work from home that day–thus preventing you from cleaning the room they are in.But if you work it, it will work out!


Had you heard of batch processing before reading this post?
Do you utilize this time management system in some form?
What is your biggest distraction during the day?


 

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