I’ve mentioned the perils of multitasking, how doing more than one thing at a time reduces focus, accuracy, and causes tasks to take longer than they would if performed on their own. Now I want to talk about a next level productivity hack, batching.
Batching for productivity means grouping similar tasks together to perform them as a group.
Examples of Batching:
- Sorting email by sender to address email threads or read newsletters.
- Filing and addressing mail on a weekly basis.
- Using a basket at the bottom of the stairs to collect items that need to go upstairs and then taking them all up at once.
- Cooking and freezing a week’s worth of dinners on a Sunday evening.
- Run errands in one outing instead of making multiple trips.
You already perform batching when you shop for groceries weekly instead of daily, or respond to emails at certain times of the day rather than respond to each one as they come in. A productivity hack I use is to save and read my newsletters and forum posts all at once in the morning while I drink my coffee. These items are low priority, but I want to keep up-to-date on industry information and batching this task makes it manageable. I know I’d get overwhelmed reading each email as it came in or even during my scheduled email response times.
Try batching similar tasks to increase productivity by reducing switching costs (the time it takes to adjust from one task to the next), allowing you to perform better and complete tasks faster; all leading to more productivity.