I’ve been finding more downtime in quarantine than I usually would in my “normal” daily routine – but my weekdays still call for some serious productivity. I’ve always worked from home (even before quarantine). I’ll record episodes for The Blonde Files Podcast and plan all my blog and IG content from home. Not to mention online school! So my mornings look like this: wake up at 6 and meditate and start homework at 6:30 until the afternoon (with a workout break around 9!). Then, switch gears in the afternoon and work on content and my podcast until dinner. I’ve mastered setting up a productive WFH space – but batching tasks is what really gets me through the week.
Batching is basically grouping similar tasks together so you do them all at once instead of switching between different unrelated tasks. For example, that would look like starting a homework assignment, answering a few random emails and then outlining a podcast episode – all before going right back to my homework assignment. Batching is meant to increase productivity by keeping you from jumping from project to project, decreasing distractions and helping you strategically cross off your to-do’s.
Multitasking may make us feel more productive but it’s a myth! Busy is NOT the same as productive. Evidence shows that multitasking actually wastes more time than it saves and it kills our focus and creativity. I’m a fan of batching tasks because by prioritizing certain tasks, I get to maximize my work hours, I feel less intimidated by big projects and I make fewer mistakes because there are fewer distractions. Overall, I’ve found that batching increases productivity, creativity and mental sharpness, while decreasing procrastination, stress and mental fatigue.
I like to set aside a few minutes at the beginning of the week to plan and prioritize any tasks that need to be completed. Writing them down in a planner and setting reminders on my phone works best for me! Depending on how big my to-do list is, I block a certain number of hours per day for homework, podcast work and content planning. This helps me create a mental routine and easily move my focus from one task to the next.
If you’re new to batching tasks, try the Pomodoro technique. It’s 25 minutes of work followed by a 5 minute break. By setting a timer for 25 minutes and turning off all distractions, you’re required to focus on one task at a time – and it’s OK if some tasks take more Pomodoros to achieve! I love this time blocking technique because the timer usually goes off just as my mind begins to wander. Resting is just as important as being productive, so I like to take those 5 minute breaks to give myself a quick mid-day reset.
Do you batch tasks – or will you start? I’d love to hear what you think of it!