We all have 168 hours each week. For many of us, that’s not enough to meet all of our expectations. What if I told you there was a simple change you could make to get more of your time back?
You Might Not Like it But You Gotta Do it Anyway
I am obsessed with finding better ways to do things. I love to research, organize, plan and think. I love to weigh all of my options. I’ve been known to go a bit overboard. But sometimes this quality creates a new idea that improves our life.
When I traveled for work it was easy to stop at Target and pick up garbage bags or stop for gas on my way home. I was able to arrange my errands around my travel and maximize my time. When I stopped traveling, I was shocked at how much time it took to make a Costco run, get groceries, or stop at the library. I realized I was wasting a minimum of an hour every time I had to go and get something.
Batching to the Rescue
Then I discovered batching. Batching is grouping similar tasks to be completed together during a set period of time.
I began batching my errands, and it was amazing. I now plan all of my errands for the week during one afternoon. I typically have something else scheduled that morning or evening to further minimize unnecessary trips. It has shaved hours off my week, allowing time for things that are more important.
Batching isn’t just for errands. I batch everything. I do all of the prep work for my volunteer assignments for the month during one weekend afternoon. I schedule all of my cleaning for the week during one evening. I respond to all of my emails during a scheduled time each morning. The technique can be used for anything you do.
How Batching Improves Your Performance
The idea is that you save time by streamlining tasks. You increase efficiency and improve results by single-tasking. I’ve also found that batching leads to a less stress and a greater sense of accomplishment since you’re completing a bunch of tasks at once and not jumping from one unfinished task to the next.
When planning your next week, why not give batching a try? It’s super simple. I use Evernote and Google Calendar. I also check Weather.com because carrying in a trunk full of groceries is no fun on a -18 degree winter day.
Batching in 5 Simple Steps
- Make a list of everything you need to do during the upcoming week.
- Group all similar activities together. I use Evernote so I can copy and paste.
- Figure out the amount of time required for each group.
- Check your calendar to find time slots where each group of activities makes the most sense.
- Use your new free time to do something for you, like finishing that book or date night with your spouse.
Do you use a similar technique?
What is the most interesting task you use it for?
How has batching helped you create more margin in your life?
Share in the comments below.