I came across this word ‘Batching’ from the book called The 4-hour work week as a productivity tool to utilise my time more efficiently. The idea of batching is to carry out a long list of same tasks in a span of couple of days. It is the completion of a task and any sub categorised task associated with it. I have been practising batching as a novice and not truly used its potential to benefit myself to a greater extent. From my own personal experience, I have been using the notion of batching in my meal preparations which I usually do during the weekend. I’ve found this to be extremely productivity in saving time because I wouldn’t find myself in the kitchen every night and saving money because I wouldn’t indulge into spending money on lunch everyday.
Why does it work?
There are several reasons why it is important to implement ‘Batching’ into our everyday lives.
- Set up costs – in any task that we carry out, it involves initial preparation or setting up to carry out that task. When you do the same task frequently – the set up cost increases for instances, answering emails through out the day multiplies the set up cost. If, on the other hand, answering emailing once during the day, then the set-up costs are kept at a minimum.
- Task switching – in a paper conducted by the American Psychological Association have indicated that task switching, takes a toll on productivity. Just to think about checking your emails 5 times a day, you can lose about 1 hour of productivity. I currently work at Emerson and my habit of checking my emails 7-8 times a day increases my set up time and therefore decreasing my efficiency. I intend to change this habit going into new year.
- Peak performance ‘flow’ – Batching as a technique allows the user to be consistent so they remain in a state of flow for a longer period. Through batching, you’re in a position to create long uninterrupted stretches of time where performance in any singular activity is at its highest.
I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.