2 Ways to “Batch” Your Way To Less Stress
by Robin Sacks
Have you ever heard of “time batching?” It’s the concept of creating chunks of time throughout the day where you do a specific type of activity. For example, you might choose to “batch” emails at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm each day. If you have anything email related, whether it’s checking, sending, or responding, it gets done only at those times.
Batching helps you to be more productive and focused as you complete tasks throughout the day. By doing “like” tasks together, you avoid the flipping back and forth your brain has to do when you attempt to multitask. That bouncing back and forth costs us an extraordinary amount of time and energy that we could be using in more beneficial (and focused) ways.
Having adopted this way of working, I can attest to the benefits of finding not only more time and energy, but also more focus and less stress; less stress because I no longer look at everything that comes my way as something to stop and do right now. Instead, I place it in the appropriate time batch during my day and do it then.
Everything gets done, and nothing feels like it has to be done right now. Instead, it has a place and will get done then.
Seeing how well that concept worked, I began to expand the idea into ‘day batching.’ If you have some control over your daily schedule, this might help you, as well.
With day batching, I identify certain types of tasks I need to do throughout the week and place them on specific days. For example here’s what my typical week is currently set up to look like:
Mondays are left fairly wide open. Unless there is a specific event, for example a speaking gig or training session per someone else’s calendar, I typically do not schedule things on Mondays. What that allows me to do is to ease into the week in a calm state.
Tuesdays and Fridays are the days when I work with clients. All coaching sessions, meetings, and check-in phone or Zoom calls are scheduled on those days.
Wednesday is my writing day. Whether it’s an article of my own, copywriting for a client, or writing I’m doing for a collaboration, it gets done on Wednesday.
Thursdays are video days. On Thursdays, I shoot videos for courses, social media posting, or collaborative efforts. I also shoot short videos I send to clients in lieu of emails on these days. Little video messages are sometimes so much more effective and helpful than email messages because they include the human element of voice, tone, and body language instead of just words that can be misread or misunderstood — it prevents a bunch of emails back and forth clarifying what you want or meant.
Batching is about organizing or compartmentalizing your life. Think about what it look likes in your personal life, as well; making appointments, running errands, doing laundry, cooking or food prep, movie nights, veg out time, etc. While you may not be able to do it with everything, find some areas where you can do it. The result will have you feeling a bit more in control and a bit less stressed…and who couldn’t use a bit of that?!?