Time Batching Tips to Make Your Day More Productive

Time Batching - Getting Stuff Done

Have you ever had a day where you’ve felt incredibly busy and without breaks, but then find yourself asking: “what did I accomplish?”

Been there.

Fortunately, we’ve found a solution!! Let’s dive in.

How to get your sh#t done, even if you:

  • Juggle many different projects/responsibilities
  • Spend a lot of time answering calls, emails, and putting out fires
  • Deal with constant interruptions and shiny buttons
  • Wish you had more time and mental space for big-picture thinking
Time Batching Tips to Make Your Day More Productive

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Drum roll please…. my favorite productivity technique, TIME BLOCKING!

You’ve probably heard of time blocking… it’s a time management method where you divide your day into blocks. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or group of tasks, and only those specific tasks.

When your days are time-blocked in advance, you won’t have to continually choose what to focus on (goodbye decision fatigue!)

Anytime you feel yourself getting off task or distracted, just look back at your schedule to get yourself back on task!

Boom. You’re productive. Mic drop.

Now let’s meet time blocking’s cousins: Task Batching and Day Theming.

Time Blocking Option #1: Task batching

Task batching is when you group similar (usually smaller) tasks and schedule specific time blocks to complete all at once. By tackling similar tasks in a group, you’ll limit the amount of task-switching you have to do throughout your day, saving precious time and mental energy.

Fact of the day… It takes 20 minutes to refocus after task switching.

Here are some tasks I like to batch together:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Networking
  • Paperwork, such as bookkeeping

Time Blocking Option #2: Theme Days

Day theming is a more extreme version of task batching for people who have many areas of responsibility competing for their attention.

For example, as entrepreneurs, most of you have to pay attention to marketing, sales, product development, customer support, and HR all at the same time. Instead of setting aside time blocks for each area of responsibility each day, try setting up a full day each week for each duty.

Here’s how I use day theming in my business:

  • Monday- Marketing and Business Development
  • Tuesday- Networking
  • Wednesday- Client calls
  • Thursday- Client work
  • Friday- Finance and Admin
  • Saturday- Free Time
  • Sunday- Rest and Weekly Prep

Will time blocking work with my job?

One of the biggest criticisms of time blocking is that it doesn’t account for reactive jobs where it’s impossible to anticipate what will come in at any given moment. Is time blocking a realistic strategy for a customer support specialist whose job is to respond to tickets? Or an account manager who needs to be available to respond to client requests? YES!

In these situations, a workday ramp up and wind down are a perfect solution. It might look like this:

Morning Ramp Up (60 min):

  • Respond to emails 30 min
  • Check Social Media 15 min
  • Check-in with team 10 min
  • Review tasks for the day 5 min

End of Day Wind Down:

  • Respond to emails 45 min
  • Tidy desk 10 min
  • Check out with team 5 min

Time blocking boo boo’s:

  1. Time blocking should be a relief, not a stressor, so block off too much time for tasks, especially at first. Then refine as you go along. Trust me on this one.
  2. Stay chill: Things will come up. And when that happens, remember you have planned your calendar to help focus on what’s important; it’s not a binding contract.

Here’s a 6-minute video on how I use Trello (a free project management tool) to help organize my days, so I can keep my mind free for more important things, like growing my business.

Time Batching Trello

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