How to get more done in your day

patchwork quiltWe all struggle with having more To Dos than time.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or corporate professional, most people’s task lists are so long they get overwhelmed and avoid looking at those lists altogether.

Rather than putting your head in the sand and hoping it will all just go away, I’m going show you a productivity secret that will help you cross off all those tasks from your list.  

Turn your tasks into a batchwork quilt

The secret is called task batching or what I like to call batchwork.

The trick to getting all your tasks done efficiently is to group similar activities and do them all at once. Click to Tweet this!

Why is this so efficient? Because getting into the right mood for performing a certain task takes time. By chunking similar tasks together you are reducing your prep time and preserving your mental energy.

Let’s say it takes you 10 minutes to get into the zone for writing your blog. You write four blogs per week. If you were to batch your blog writing into one chunk of time, you would save 30 minutes each week of prep time. Imagine what you could get done in those extra 30 minutes per week!

By grouping similar tasks together, you’ll get them done more efficiently because your brain doesn’t have to rethink each step each time.

Make it happen with time blocks

Once similar tasks have been batched, the trick is to assign time to get them done. Time blocks are chunks of time in your calendar that are reserved for performing your batchwork. Two things to consider when blocking time:

  1. Schedule around fixed time in your calendar. This is time that has already been reserved, such as client time or meetings.
  2. Your energy level. We all have time in our day when our energy peaks or when it is deep in a valley. Consider your energy levels for creativity and concentration, and plan your day accordingly.

Three zones for batchwork

When you’re putting your task list together, think about it this way. Rather than a long list of To Dos consider putting all those tasks into the following three zones.

  1. Concentration Zone:  bookkeeping, business planning
  2. Creative Zone:  writing (blog, social media, scripts, articles), video or podcast creation
  3. Repetitive Zone:  processing email, filing

The goal of batchwork is to allow you to save time and energy by grouping similar activities. Putting them into categories, timeblocking them around fixed times in your schedule, and taking your energy zones into consideration will enable you to get your tasks done quickly and efficiently.

How do you get your tasks done? Have you ever batched them together? Add your comments below and continue the conversation.

Comments

  1. Wow, this advice couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks Valeri for sharing the concept of concentration, creative and repetitive zones. I’ve practiced the repetitive zones for opening all my snail mail 2-3x/week in the PM; I batch my filing time, cooking/baking, house cleaning. and food shopping. I am trying a new concept with in person biz networking; doing this only 2x/month with the formal meeting and than coffee directly after the meeting. I’m already out of the house, “dressed up so I might as well make the best of the drive time to the location and stay after the meeting to learn more about individual members. Now I need to see how I can embrace a concentration and creative time. Now that I’ve found your blog – I’ll be back for more great ideas!

    • Hi Bonnie. I’m glad you found the ideas useful and relevant to your life and work. I love that you’re already batching your tasks to get them done quicker. Over the next couple of weeks, tune in to your energy levels at different times of the day. You may also want to keep a journal to help you keep track. Let me know how it goes!

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