batching

February 5th, 2013   |   Business AdviceLife

 

Batching

Lately I have been struggling to keep up with my schedule.

And at first I was kinda excited about it. There was some little ego satisfaction that came from having “so much to do.”

I mean, common. It’s better than having too little to do, right?

But lately I’ve been realizing that this pace is:

A) Unsustainable.

B) Ineffective.

I’m really good at intentionally choosing what I have on my plate. But how I go about doing those things lately has not been the most efficient.

However, my new business coach, Tim Ferriss, is setting me straight.

(No, he’s not my actual coach. I’m just reading his book and pretending that he’s talking directly to me. You do that too, right?)

The other day Tim gave me a scheduling smack down:

“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”

Though I am serving people and fulfilling my purpose, I’m not doing a fantastic job with managing my time and hence feeling that overwhelm.

For example, last week, despite bringing on two new assistants to help me, I found myself wishing I could insert an IV into my arm to deliver my caloric intake. Taking the time to eat breakfast or lunch was stealing precious time from other things I “needed to do.”

Hello, crazy town.

Something’s gotta give. And it’s not going to be my Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese.

So now, starting this week, I’m instituting Tim’s remedy for the redundant and ineffective schedule: batching.

I’ll let Tim explain:

“There is an inescapable setup time for all tasks, large or minuscule in scale. It is often the same for one as it is for a hundred. There is a psychological switching of gears that can require up to 45 minutes to resume a major task that has been interrupted. More than a quarter of each 9-5 period (28%) is consumed by such interruptions.”

Thank you, Mr. Business Coach. That extra 28% is the time I need to eat my cheesy goodness. It’s the time when I can relax during my day and enjoy my pup. It’s the time when can proofread my WIKW emails so I don’t spell “assets” like “asses” … like I did last week.

Batching is pretty simple. It’s the idea that I can wait until work accumulates to do it all at once rather than doing it a zillion times per day or week.

For me, this is going to save me the most time when it comes to social media and email. Those are the two areas I “check in on” most often during the day when I could really be working with more clients, creating new content, or eating.

Tomorrow in the Wish I Knew Wednesday email I’ll be sharing exactly how I plan to batch my schedule for the next week. My hope is this trial run with a really concerted effort to be accountable will help me discover a batching system that works for my business and opens up my schedule. Plus, I’ll be inviting others to join in on the batching challenge as well.

Until then, please consider Tim’s advice and add a little batching to your own schedule!

 

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  • http://twitter.com/iamkristinbrown Kristin Brown

    I love the idea of batching and have to remind myself that sometimes it’s more efficient to wait to do a task until I can do other similar tasks at the same time. I am especially strict about errands–I don’t go out for an errand unless I have more than one place to go. :) I’m excited to hear more about how you make this work in your business.

  • Tab http://inbetweentrees.blog

    First off the “assets”- “asses” typo had me laughing for like five minutes when I read it last week. I think batching is a very efficient way to manage time. I do a little mini batch with my daily todo list.

  • Alyssa

    Thanks for covering this topic Jess. It’s something I’m really struggling with in my work life as well and I’d love to learn from your new strategies. Looking forward to tomorrow’s email.

  • http://www.midnightcaramel.com/ Charlotte

    Have you ever read “Refuse to Choose” by Barbara Sher? Awesome book in the same genre! (oh, and she’s talking directly to me too) :)

  • http://www.suzyspeaks.com/ Suzy Smith

    Again, another great post. I feel like you always write something right when I need to read it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jess Lively

    Yes! The name and url are now jesslivley.com however I’m not sure how the RSS feed is taking it in. So it definitely may still show up there as MML. : )

  • Jess Lively

    That’s a great tip, thanks Kristin!

  • Jess Lively

    Lol! Good! I’m glad my typo got some good traction. : )

  • Jess Lively

    We are definitely in the same boat, my dear!

  • Jess Lively

    Never heard of the book before, but thanks for sharing!

  • Jess Lively

    That’s awesome to hear!

  • http://twitter.com/SqViewStudios Squareview Studios

    What a wonderful plan of attack for the day. I’m going to start batching my day today! Thanks for this and all your other wonderful ideas, Jess!

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  • rosyblu

    I caught it too, and it made me laugh! I had a co-worker email me once that she was going to “poop on over” to see me at my desk (rather than pop) :) Love those typos, they remind us that we’re human!

  • Jess Lively

    LOL! Love that one too!

  • Jess Lively

    Awesome! I’m LOVING the book so far. I’m excited to get this batching thing in my system too. I think this could really help you as well!

  • Jess Lively

    Aw, you are welcome!

  • Jess Lively

    Sounds like you are already on your way, lady!

  • Erika

    Oh how I struggle with my schedule. Since quitting my previous 9-5….I realized I struggle with scheduling too much, then too little….I love this little “taste” that you gave us of his ideas–Looking forward to tomorrow. (And researching his book.) Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/sarahkhandjian Sarah Hearts

    Thanks for sharing this! I am absolutely going to try my best to batch my weekly schedule. I find myself on email way too often!

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