Organizing and Increasing Productivity Using Batching

Batches of brownies or batches of cookies? well, I hate to break it to ya but I’m referring to batching work lol…but we will get back to the cookies and brownies in a minute.  I know, go ahead and furrow your brow at the sneaky way I pulled you in, but my goal was to get you to start reading, because I want to explain how batching your work can be one of the most efficient uses of your time.

One person who uses batching extremely successfully is Marie Kondo.  In her book, the Magic of Tidying Up she encourages you to batch your items, so you literally take all of the shoes you own and tackle them at the same time.  There is something very rewarding in knowing you have set out to finish one thing and you accomplished that goal.  It is also easier to see what you do and don’t need when all of the shoes are right there together.  I remember back in early 2008 when I did this with my shoes, I had an overabundance of black shoes.  It was very shocking and funny all at the same time.  It’s hard to be in denial when the reality is staring you in the face.

Batching Helps You Complete Work More Efficiently

You see, when you batch your work your focus is on doing that one thing…you get tunnel vision and tend to complete the job faster than if you were doing multiple things at one time.  This is one of the techniques we use when we help our Clients declutter their lives and spaces.  Take for example, when you are trying to declutter your closet.  Most clients find it easier to focus on their shirts or shoes vs focusing on their shirts, shoes, pants, belts, ties, etc., all at the same time. The reason is because dealing with all those things at one time is overwhelming and in many cases causes the person to quit and never return.  Having a short spirt of focus gives your mind a clear understanding of how long you need to be focused and then you know you will receive a reward/break.  Then you go for the next round.  Often times I find Clients accomplish more when we tackle things in this way than if I were to give them a long list of homework.  That is why I rarely do in-home consultation reports anymore, I more often set up 15 – 30 min coaching sessions to touch base and discuss next steps.  Consider it the agile version of organizing.

Batching Helps You Focus

By batching the work, you have a focus…you can see a beginning and an end…and if it is a big job, you can set realistic goals.  If I have 10 boxes of random paperwork to go through, the best way to handle it is to batch the work and sort through all the paper first placing them into like piles.  The next step would be to tackle each pile as individual batches, sorting into category batches (shredding, filing, scanning, etc.).  You will find you have strategically and systematically broken that big job down in less time than it would take you to do all 10 boxes at one time.  Yes, you may have to touch the pieces of paper multiple times, but you are being much more efficient.  Your mind has a clear focus and isn’t easily distracted.

Batching Helps You Work in Time Blocks

By batching it also allows you to work in dedicated windows of time.  If you only have 15 – 30 minutes to work you can continue sorting your boxes until that job is done and you also know you are making progress as you empty each box.  You can batch just about any job you have, the key is understanding your bottom denominator.  What is the “batch” you are trying to get to – phone calls, emails, cleaning, packing, etc.  You know what you can accomplish in a short period of time and you pick the appropriate batch to coincide with that.  If you don’t finish, it’s ok because you have a clear goal and it is much easier to start and stop than if you were trying to do it all at once.

One of the other areas I love to batch is cooking…see I told you we would get back to the brownies and cookies!

Batching Works in the Kitchen Too

Batch cooking (freezer cooking) is one area we are working on re-applying in my home, because the few times we have instituted it, it worked beautifully.  There are a number of websites out there that are dedicated to batch cooking so make sure to look them up, you can even batch cook cookies and brownies.  The idea is pretty ingenious and the few times we have focused on doing this for the week/month it has made a huge difference in not only the amount of time required to produce a meal but financially too.  I have successfully batched soup, biscuits, homemade baby food, cake, lasagna and more.

Tell us, what have you batched lately and did you find it made a difference in your overall efficiency?  Tell me by commenting below or share in our facebook page.

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