“When am I gonna get time to do everything?”
You may remember from one my saying before that there were days (and days) in the beginning when I felt like a headless chicken. It wasn’t just the running around physically, it was also the frantic “running around” mentally that was exhausting. I felt like my head was always swarming with things and ideas and STUFF that needed to get done: people I needed to follow up with, emails that needed sending, calls that needed making.
The work seemed endless, and I felt like I was jumping from fire to fire trying to get stuff done, but could never keep up.
There were times when I wished I could fly above it all and magically will the stuff to do itself or go away, but somehow that never happened. I was living in a near-constant state of feeling like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. How demoralizing is that?
And that’s when I remembered my entrepreneurial friend and decided to copy her. A few weeks earlier, I had sent her an email and got an auto-response that told me she only checks her email twice a day so she would be getting back to me during her next email checking slot within 24 hours. It was a mini Eureka! moment.
What she was doing was batching: grouping like activity into a specific slot, and only doing that activity then.
Batching is a HUGE time and energy saver, and I use it in all aspects of my life. Let’s stick with the email example. Instead of checking my email throughout the day and getting distracted all day long, I generally only check and respond to email during two pre-determined slots. This ensures that I am still able to respond on the same day if needed and that I can catch anything important before the close of the working day. If anyone needs to reach me for something urgent, they know they can call.
Before I started batching, I was constantly spending a few minutes here and a few minutes there jumping from task to task. I was reacting to my day and to other people’s demands on my time instead of taking control of my day and creating a structure that works for me (another friend had once described email as someone else’s to-do list for you!) .
And batching clears head space. Because I have certain allocated slots for like activities, I can stop wondering or worrying about when something will get done. I know that X activity gets done during Y time, so if it’s not Y now, then X ain’t happening! Batching also forces us to be disciplined. If it’s not Y time, then X doesn’t get a look in.
I use batching for pretty much anything that can be grouped together: I pay my invoices on the 15th and the 30th of the month. I create my You Tube and blog content on Mondays and Fridays. I do my coaching calls on Thursdays and Fridays. I do laundry on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I do grocery shopping on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (You get the idea.)
Batching takes the guesswork out of your days and clears head space because you know when things will get done and don’t have to waste time planning it in or reminding yourself. Batching imposes a useful but flexible structure in your life that will save you time, money, energy, and stress.
Just try it and see for yourself how much easier it is to keep on top of things when you’re not doing a little bit of everything all day long. That is the beauty of batching.