Efficiency Through Batching

Originally uploaded by mwri

We would all like to be more efficient and we can often see things in our lives that are simply not as cost or time effective as they could be. Productivity is directly tied to efficiency and this same productivity translates directly into dollars and cents. So what can we do in our crazy lives that will improves our efficiency? One of the tasks that I’ve learned through a bunch of business and productivity books is the art of batching.

What is Batching?

Batching is taking a task that is repetitive and frequent and doing it in one lump. The perfect example for this would be laundry; you can do a half load of laundry every day or collect all of your laundry and maybe do a couple loads at the end of the week. Those collected loads of laundry are batched. We’ve all got tasks that we do each and every day that don’t take a lot of time but they inevitably chew into our day (say email) rather than answering email for 10 minutes out of every hour pick two half hour slots during the day and answer email then.

What are the benefits of batching?

One of the main benefits of batching is that you can take advantage of volume discounts. A full laundry machine wastes less water, heat and detergent than two half loads. Although this is just one example it can be translated all over the place. Take for example writing for a blog; rather than wrack your brain each time you want to write a post you can batch by sitting down for a couple hours and jotting notes and rough drafts. You can compile more in an hour or two of concentration and focus than if you were to scramble every time you wanted to write.

A focused effort on something provides more results and productivity than a broken up parts. Say you spent 10 minutes a day looking through your mail; now what if you left that same pile of mail for a week and took care of everything within 30 minutes? The math is very simple the concentrated effort took you 30 minutes but the daily effort over the week was 50! You can save yourself a bunch of time for more enjoyable pursuits.

Personally I try to batch whatever I can, some things like mail, email, laundry, dishes and paying bills are very easy to batch. They save me time, money and effort. By batching you can spend less total time on rudimentary task that you normally do all the time and by doing so improve your overall efficiency.

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