For years, the ability to multitask was seen as a business strength. However, we now know that it’s actually less of a skill and more of a hindrance! It’s been proven that batching tasks is a far more effective time management technique, one that has many benefits.
But how does batching work and what benefits will you glean from it? Here’s a brief overview to get you started!
Multitasking is a myth!
Studies have shown that when you try to focus on several tasks at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only does multitasking decrease productivity, it also increases stress levels. Multitasking simply doesn’t work. The reality is, when we think we’re multitasking, we’re actually dividing out attention on two separate tasks in quick succession.
Time Magazine stated in an article on multitasking that we’re simply not wired to multitask:
“For nearly all people, in nearly all situations, multitasking is impossible… The neuroscience is clear: We are wired to be mono-taskers.”
Multitasking not only divides our attention, it also impairs our ability to complete all involved tasks, it saps our creativity and reduces our efficiency.
By focusing on only one task at a time, you’re increasing your levels of concentration, taking away the stress levels usually associated with multitasking and limiting distractions. But if you need to focus on only one task at a time, how does batching tasks together work?
Why batching tasks works
Batching is a time management technique that helps you maximise concentration and decrease distraction. It’s about grouping like tasks together, so you can minimise the need to flick between different platforms and methods, whilst maximising focus and attention.
Michael Hyatt of Michael Hyatt & Company helps overwhelmed high achievers win at work, succeed at life, and lead with confidence. In an article on his website (https://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-use-batching-to-become-more-productive/) batching is described as:
“Batching minimizes the amount of distraction that’s placed on our increasingly connected lives. It not only protects us from the distractions of others, but also from our self-inflicted distractions.“
The benefits of batching
So what are the benefits of batching? Quite simply, it Increases productivity, saves time and leaves you feeling as if you’re achieving something – because you’re staying focused and in the zone. It saves time, as you’re not having to switch between programs and tabs. You’re also saving time by not flicking between different mediums. For example, you place all online research into one batch, all video recording in another etc.
Batching tasks together leads to less overwhelm, especially where big projects are involved. They can be broken into smaller sections and this also affords you more clarity and focus.
How to batch tasks
When it comes to knowing how to batch tasks, it’s quite simple:
- You group tasks together – put all similar tasks (or those that use similar resources) into ‘batches’ of tasks.
- Divide your day up into smaller chunks (or blocks) of time
- Assign each batch of tasks into a section of free time
- Start on your first batch of tasks – go through each task in turn, focusing on one at a time.
- Stop what you’re doing either when you’ve finished or that time slot has run out.
For years, we all worked at striving to be great at multitasking, but in reality, it wasn’t just ineffective, it also totally stressed us out and lead to sub-par performance! Batching tasks works, because it increases your levels of concentration, takes away the stress levels usually associated with multitasking and limits distractions.
It can be quite overwhelming, staring at a huge task list. But by breaking it down, you simplify the list and narrow down your workload. And of course, if you want to narrow down your task list further – look into outsourcing your batched tasks to a Virtual PA! Head on over and see the wide range of services you can utilise, to help free up your time and workload.
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