Batch your Time for a Better Life

Do you ever have a to-do list that is 2 pages long (or longer)? Feel like you are busy the entire day, but when you look at your forward motion, realize there was no actual productivity? Far too often we keep ourselves busy. We all have lots of things we HAVE to do, everything is so important and even more urgent. As our world continues to embrace immediate gratification with instant access thanks to technology we have become less and less productive and are transforming more and more “fire-fighters”. 

One of the greatest ways we can stop reacting to life and start being proactive about our days and what we plan to accomplish is through time batching. More importantly we need to give up on the idea of multitasking. I guess you can hold onto chewing and walking, but be careful. This is the last subject we will dive deeper into in the “Quit Responding” series.

  1. Know your values
  2. Establish your priorities
  3. Set Goals
  4. Accept responsibility (have versus be)
  5. Batch your time (STOP multitasking)

Continue with us one more week as we talk about the same three questions we have been addressing. Why are they important, how do we set them, and where do they come into play with organization?

Why is Time Batching so Important

Time batching is an integral way in which we start to take back our day. It is a form of planning that holds us accountable, but also builds in some flexibility for that crazy thing we call life. When many of us stop to take a look at our lives, very often we see that mainly we have just been going along with the motions. Day-to-day stuff happens as it always does and it does not seem like there is much we can do about it.

Time batching is a way to fight the daily repeat syndrome. There will definitely be things that become routine, but the benefit of time batching is to make the routines work for you instead of them just happening.

When we batch our time we start to consider the most important things we need to accomplish — the things that bring in money, that make us happiest, that bring us peace in our lives, and that push our forward towards our biggest dreams and goals. 

Wouldn’t you like it if you could put more time, energy, attention, and focus to happiness, peace, and accomplishing your goals?

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How do We Batch Time

Generally, one of the most difficult things about time batching is to first realize all of the things we do in a day — and how unimportant a lot of them actually are. Consider starting with this exercise – Everything I Do.

Pick the most important areas in your life — family, work, social, church, etc.

Then break these down even further into the major activities that you must do in each area – dinner, chores, teaching, etc for family, marketing, financials, training, etc for work — hopefully you get the idea.

Don’t forget your irregular activities that happen monthly, seasonally, or even annually. Many of you probably could think of a few since we just are wrapping up the Holiday Season.

Once you write down all of the things you do there are three steps.

  1. Calculate and write down how much time you spend on each activity, task, or responsibility. 
    1. (Still try to do this for non regular items.)
  2. Consider if you enjoy doing it. If yes designate that some how – maybe with a smilie face.
  3. Evaluate how important it is to your health, career, family, goals, etc. Consider a 3 star system.

From these things find the ones that are most important and that make you the happiest and immediately designate a time each day, week, or year (depending on what it is and how often it should happen) into a calendar that you use regularly. Set that time up just like you would a meeting with a client, or as a big project completion date, etc. 

Additionally, look at the smaller things that are going to help you reach your goals and schedule time in your calendar for those too! If you want to lose weight, schedule in meal planning and exercise. If you want to save money or pay off debt schedule in budget review, coupon clipping, and/or bill payments.

These are supposed to be sacred times – so try to not allow interruptions when you are supposed to be doing these things. If a kid needs something, consider saying I have about 45 minutes left to work on this, can it wait? Is there something else you can do, or someone else who can help you? 

If possible try to not answer the phone, email, get on facebook, etc. Schedule in 45-60 minute blocks so as to be reasonable with your time, allow for short breaks in between. And keep in mind it is ok to have multiple blocks for one type of task in a row, if you know you need more than 60 minutes. 

How Does Time Batching Relate to Organization

It should hopefully be obvious how this is going to help you get organized. However, just in case you need some help, here are some examples.

  1. We put the most important things at the times when we know we are most productive (least interrupted).
  2. Understanding what is most important to us, and making sure it has its time, helps us realize which items that are insignificant to allow us to let them go, outsource them, hand them off to someone else, etc.
  3. Getting into a routine with ensuring the important stuff ups our productivity and helps eliminate some of our busy work of just checking things off the list. — 3 very productive — income producing, happiness generating, or peace creating activities get us a LOT further than 12 tasks that we felt like we needed to do but have nothing to do with our goals and dreams.
  4. When we can see our week as a whole we can anticipate trouble areas, interruptions, and other issues to arise and cut them off at the knees before they happen or before they are allowed to become a problem!

Think of all of the new found productivity you can create with just a few simple exercises and a new way of thinking about all of the things you do.

Consider checking out the Passion Planner to get started today! 

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We would love to hear about your time batching, if it is working for you, if you have questions, and the best ones are always about how it has changed your life! 

Posted in Tips and Tricks and tagged .