How to become more productive with time batching
People always have a lot to accomplish at work. However, many a time, they fail to achieve goals in time. A glance away from the task at hand can present a world of distractions. It can be hard to focus when you know your co-workers are engrossed in an interesting discussion. You can get distracted by a person simply walking past your work desk. Engaging in too many tasks at the same time can also be a productivity killer.
Is there a time management strategy that can help accomplish all planned tasks and activities in time? Is there a way to stay focused at all times? Time blocking and time batching are two powerful techniques that can help. They allow you to complete work activities effectively and in an organized manner.
What is time batching?
Time batching is a productivity hack. It helps marketers, designers, accountants, managers, and everyone else to complete more work in lesser time. In the time batching approach, similar activities are clustered and then time is blocked for working on them in one go.
Context switching and small distractions are enough to influence efficiency and productivity. Even a momentary mental block due to multi-tasking can impact an individual’s productive time by up to 40%. In such a scenario, having a fixed schedule for specific, similar activities can help improve concentration and ward off distractions. With time batching, you’ll also save time and mental energy due to very limited context switching.
Consider the example of a marketing professional who has to work on a business proposal presentation, marketing plans for two clients, and content for five pages of the company’s corporate website. Is it a good idea to work on two slides of the presentation, then switch to the marketing plans, and jump on to draft website content after an hour? It can take really long to complete the three activities. Instead, the marketer can block a day for the proposal presentation, a day for the marketing plans, and three days for web content. This way, with time batching and time blocking, all three tasks can be completed within a workweek.
Will time batching work for you?
Time batching will work for anyone looking to boost productivity by eliminating distractions. Try time batching and time blocking if you:
- Regularly work on a set of similar activities
- Find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand and get easily distracted
- Wear multiple hats at work with different projects and responsibilities
- Spend a lot of your time responding to e-mails while your preassigned deliverables suffer
- Constantly get invited to unplanned meetings
- Spend time almost every day fighting interruptions at the workplace
- Do not find time for strategic activities that you’ve been delaying for days or months.
Key benefits of time batching
Better productivity is an obvious advantage of using time batching at work. With everything scheduled, you’ll be able to also complete tasks that you had no motivation to work on. Time batching offers several other benefits, including:
- Enhanced focus due to a well-planned work schedule
- Time savings due to logical transitions between tasks and limited context switching by completing related tasks in one go
- Successful completion of long-pending activities and long-term goals as including all of them in your batched tasks ensures you have scheduled time for them and are less likely to delay them
- Fostering the ability to complete time-bound activities successfully
- Lower anxiety levels as you have the self-assurance of being able to complete scheduled tasks on time
- A clearer mind as you already know what you need to work on at what time and needn’t worry about a constantly changing schedule
- Greater accuracy due to working with a deeper mental focus on one task at a time.
How to use time batching to become more productive
A time management tool such as Breeze can make time batching easy. It helps improve productivity and run projects more efficiently.
Step 1: List projects, tasks, and activities
Begin by preparing a list of all individual tasks and activities you need to work on during the day, week, or month. Try defining tasks as clearly as possible so you cover all of them. Splitting tasks into smaller ones will make them seem achievable. It will also help in setting more realistic timelines.
Step 2: Group similar tasks
It is now time for time batching. In Breeze, you can group similar tasks. Arrange them logically so it’s easy to move from one task to another with very little context shifting. Batching related tasks can help you stay fully focused, improving productivity and efficiency.
Step 3: Block your time
You can have eight tasks in one batch that will need two days to complete and only three tasks in the next one that can take five days. You would have a fair idea of how long tasks in each batch will take. Based on your analysis, set realistic timelines for each batch so you stay on track. Allocate fewer hours for tasks that you do not want to spend a lot of time on. Add a greater number of hours for more daunting tasks. Do remember to accommodate break time, but don’t overschedule it.
Step 4: Evaluate and Improve
Constantly evaluating the success of your time batching initiative can help you improve with time. You’ll be able to plan your time batches and block time more efficiently. It will also help you reflect on how successful you were in staying focused so you can work on it to further enhance productivity.
5 useful time batching tips
Since you’re planning to become more productive with time batching and time blocking, here are five tips that will help you have a more fruitful experience.
- Use the right tools: Tracking and managing long-term projects using pen and paper or offline tools can get challenging. An easy-to-use project management tool like Breeze can help you get more done with very little effort.
- Don’t overestimate or underestimate your time: With experience, you’ll know exactly how long you’ll take for certain types of tasks. Until then, trust your instincts. Keep a little extra time for tasks and between batched tasks. It will make transitions easy and you can stay on track even if tasks take a little longer than expected.
- Keep distractions away: Staying productive and organized without distractions and having smooth transitions from one activity to another are the main objectives of time batching. To ensure you’re achieving these objectives, try finding a workspace free of noise and distraction. You may also turn off the television and mute your cell phone.
- Stay flexible: Despite doing the best you can to keep distractions away, your plans may fail. An unplanned urgent task may come up. Instead of losing hope in the process, stay flexible. Time batching aims to enhance productivity by improving focus. Revise your schedule and continue working. It’s quite easy to edit schedules with Breeze.
- Share your time batching details: Let your colleagues and those around you know what you're working on. They’ll know you prefer to not be disturbed by non-urgent and unrelated activities so you can focus better on your work.
Why should you choose Breeze for time batching?
Breeze offers a host of features to help you stay organized and productive. The tool can help you derive greater value out of time batching.
- Once you’ve entered your batched tasks into Breeze, you can easily see a visual representation of your daily, weekly, or monthly agenda.
- You can visit the lists of tasks in your time batches to know if you are on track or if there are issues that need to be addressed.
- You can easily see when tasks are due or overdue so you can edit your time batches and blocks to re-prioritize activities as relevant.
- An in-built timer helps log time spent on each task or time batch so you can plan better in the future.
- Time batches can have group activities and Breeze facilitates online collaboration via discussions and conversations — features to mention users, add comments and reactions, attach files, reply via e-mail, etc.
- You can save all information concerning a specific time batch on Breeze so you don’t have to search across multiple locations for project notes, instructions, guidelines, and ideas.
- Breeze allows you to share your plans and batched task details with others who are on the platform so they know what you’re working on and don’t interrupt while you’re busy.
- Project managers can view the whole team’s time batching details so they can guide team members or reallocate tasks to ensure optimal productivity.
Work smart with Breeze
Breeze makes time batching easier than you would imagine. The project management tool is intuitive and can be used by anyone — marketers, designers, accountants, managers, and others who may not have strong technical knowledge. Breeze automates routine activities. It is loaded with just the right features to help you manage projects and your batched tasks from start to finish.
Over 6000 companies across the globe already trust Breeze to manage their projects and tasks efficiently. Are you ready to crush project goals and improve productivity with time batching? Sign up now for a free 14-day trial.