Do you use a weekly plan? If you have noticed, we are big proponents of this tactic! The hope is your plan will give you a greater sense of freedom over your schedule and your life. For those of you ready to take planning to the next level, we have an additional suggestion to improve the efficiency of your week ahead: time batching.
What is batching? Batching is a time management tool used to maximize efficiency and conserve energy. By grouping similar projects together, such as reading/replying to emails or meetings, you reduce the effort required to get into a task and the effort used when switching from one task to another. In short, it’s doing like things together.
How to practice batching? Start by making a list of weekly recurring tasks. Include things like reports, emails, meetings, cleaning, meal prep, out of the house errands, etc. After the weekly necessities are listed, consider other items you would like to do - maybe add in that exercise and rest you’ve wanted! Now, begin to group complementary tasks (cleaning and meal prep, emails and planning, preparing a presentation and writing a report). Take these groups and assign them a day and time.
A particularly useful way to start batching is with emails. It is estimated that people check email every 37 minutes. To maintain focus at work, set certain times to check emails such as 12 pm and 5pm.
Another tip is to set aside a meeting day, where you schedule all meetings (in-person or virtual) on the same day. Likewise, have blocks of time where you DO NOT take meetings so you are reducing interruption and able to focus on a batch of work that requires focus. For example, we recommend a weekly wrap-up on Fridays. This is a no-meeting day for planning the week ahead and tying up any loose ends that need your attention.
Why should you use batching? The goal of time batching is grouping similar tasks to preserve your energy. Batching helps minimize distractions while emphasizing focused and innovative work. Working in batches also helps reduce wasted time and increases your likelihood of reaching a flow state.
Resources: If you want to practice batching, but don’t know where to start, try using a weekly planning sheet to refine your tasks. Are emails taking over your day? Click here to learn how to get on top of the overwhelming inbox. Still need some extra help, schedule time with us!