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9 Tips to Improve Productivity Using Time Batching

Photo by Ocean Ng

Have you ever come across a predicament when you find it difficult to stay focused on a project for longer durations? From checking your social media to phone calls, there are numerous distractions that keep you from maintaining your focus, which eventually impacts your overall productivity.

It becomes really annoying when you have a project deadline, and you constantly get disturbed with unanticipated nuisances. This makes one wonder if there is a way to work without getting sidetracked to help improve productivity.

There are numerous ways that can help you work with complete focus. And if you are looking for a way to foster with deep-focused work, then time batching (also known as the Pomodoro technique) might be just the perfect method for that.

When talking about working with undivided attention, we need to ensure that interruptions are minimized. Time batching is one such technique that helps to enhance productivity by allowing you to stay focused and keep intrusions at bay.

So, What Is Time Batching?

Time batching is a productivity system focused on helping people perform a group of similar tasks together without interruptions within a specified timeframe. This technique ensures you have minimal distractions during the times when you are extremely involved and focused on your project. It is extremely beneficial for those who need to focus on details and not get distracted.

Time blocking has been around for quite a while and is also taught on numerous online course platforms. Time blocking requires one to prioritize from the array of various tasks and time it on your calendar. It helps you move on to the next important task once you are done with the first one and, in the process, save time and avoid unnecessary hassle.

On the other hand, the concept of time batching requires you to batch similar tasks together so that you can focus on doing a single type of activity in one go! It allows you to continue working for longer hours since you need not concern yourself with switching between different types of tasks.

The Dire Need of Time Batching

As per research, when you constantly switch between different types of tasks, you end up losing about 40% of your productive time. So, it is important that you club similar tasks together to help avoid multiple switching.

You can save a tremendous amount of time when the need to switch between tasks of different kinds is removed, and time batching helps you attain just that. Just as one practices time blocking to prioritize work activities, you can apply time batching by arranging tasks as per the timeframe.

You can build boundaries around the blocks of time so that you can stay focused within that specified timeframe. Even your workflow would become pretty seamless with such a structured approach.

You can batch two different types of tasks:

  1. Deep tasks — These tasks require deep concentration and the least distraction. Since the expectation in such tasks is intense, one needs to stay focused for longer periods.
  2. Shallow tasks — Such tasks are good for short sprints where you need not put a lot of effort.

Tips to Improve Productivity Through Time Batching

If you are dog-determined to stay focused on your project using time batching, then use the below tips to enhance your productivity right from the beginning.

Tip 1: Determine if there is a need for time batching

There are numerous tasks that are not so important, and one need not bother about such tasks. Since the resultant output of such tasks renders the least value to the project, it would be better to outsource it to someone simply. Time batching should always be done for the tasks that require your undivided attention.

You need to eliminate all the tasks that add less or no value to the overall project because they will be simply a waste of your time. Also, one can easily consider this a deliberate attempt to delay work.

If you cannot let go of such tasks since they are part of your job, try to allocate your day’s low-energy parts to such errands. You will have to learn to deal with low-value work when your energy levels are not that high. Since such tasks require minimum concentration, you are better off dealing with them at times when you have low energy.

Similarly, you must batch all the tasks that require maximum concentration and least distraction at the time when you have the highest energy during the day. Many suggest that the first half of the day is when you are most productive and have the highest energy levels. It would be best to group such tasks during that period.

Tip 2: Learn to group tasks

You can group similar types of tasks either by the set objectives or function. It is important that you learn to create a clear demarcation between shallow tasks and deep tasks. When you realize the time and concentration required for a particular task, you can plan to put in the required effort.

Taking up any task haphazardly would only result in poor productivity and unanticipated outcomes. If you wish to work with full concentration and without any disturbance, learn to group your work and prioritize.

When you are able to identify similar tasks, you need to be able to group them together and then set a time limit for such tasks. After grouping, you need to prioritize which group must be taken up first and then determine the course of the next actions.

This way, when you take up the first group, you will be able to perform the tasks expeditiously and with full concentration. The same would happen when you take up the next group of tasks. Since you would have prioritized the groups, you would have more focus for deep tasks, and the shallow tasks would be taken care of when you have less energy.

Tip 3: Be strict about the time you allocate to unruly tasks

Now that you have allocated the times of the day when you would do low-value and high-value work, you need to set a time limit. There would be times when you would get distracted and might lose track of time. This is where a time tracker would help you monitor your time. For instance, if you are a social media manager, you can make the habit to track your time while you schedule social media posts.

You cannot allow such unruly tasks to spoil your time batch and so allocate the time you need to set a time limit to tasks that get you off track easily.

Time batching can be great for your productivity and focus, but only when you stick to the plans, you create. You cannot expect to spend disproportionate amounts of time on petty tasks and attain high productivity at high-value tasks.

Set a time limit and stick to it so that you can maintain and enhance your productivity.

Tip 4: Make use of a time tracker

When you are completely immersed in your work, you can lose track of time. Using an automatic time tracker, you can check how much time you take for various tasks.

Before you batch the tasks, you can check the time tracker to help you decide which tasks would club together properly to save time. Also, after batching, you can still keep using the time tracker to check the amount of time you took to complete the batch against the allocated time.

Many also use a time tracker to keep them on their toes. When working for long stretches, you would likely slow down sometimes. However, checking the time tracker would give you the mental boost about meeting the deadline. You can expect better productivity and higher output with the help of a time tracker.

When you observe that you are spending less time batching, consider that your technique is working.

Tip 5: Use a scheduling tool or calendar

One of the prime aspects of time batching is planning your week or months. What better way than having a visual representation of the same? When you use scheduling tools or a calendar to keep track of your tasks, you also get to prepare yourself mentally for the days to come. You can choose from various team management software that offers work scheduling and data storage features.

Also, when you use such tools, you can pick the days for deep batches and shallow batches as per your schedule. For example, if the beginning of the week is busy for you, you can plan to work on shallow batches on such days.

Since you need not put much energy and effort into it, you can easily fit in such a similar batch of tasks on busy days. Similarly, on the days when you are not bothered much by phone calls or emails, you can keep them for deep batch tasks.

Having a clear mindset about the required effort, you will need to put in the coming days would help you start work with better focus.

Tip 6: Make judicious use of the do-not-disturb mode

There is a reason why we are blessed with the do-not-disturb mode! When you have a day planned for a deep batch, you will need full focus and minimal distraction. It would be wise to use the do-not-disturb mode for such days.

Keep your mobile phone on silent and turn off the notification mode. If needed, put a do-not-disturb sign outside your room so that you can work with the highest productivity.

If you do not have the option to keep the door closed, put on headphones to keep away the outside noises.

Tip 7: Let others know about your plans

Not everyone would be aware of the new technique you planned to inculcate in your professional life. You might have to educate them about it or at the least let them know that you are trying out a new work technique and would prefer not to get disturbed unnecessarily.

This way, when you put on your headphones or keep your door closed or do not answer their texts, they will understand. You will also save time since you will not have to give them an explanation every time. Sharing your new work technique with your office colleagues is a good way to ensure that you are not disturbed by unproductive and time-wasting gossip.

Tip 8: Make use of tools for time batching

If you are tired of using the traditional pen and paper technique for time batching, then make use of effective tools to make your life easier.

With the help of such tools, you can check which tasks take up most of your time, and you can adjust your schedule accordingly. Some of these can also act as your best virtual assistant. If you are an email marketer, you can use email marketing tools like Mailchimp and other Mailchimp alternatives available in the market to boost your productivity and eventually save time.

Tip 9: Evaluate

Once you have successfully created the plan and followed it through, it would be time to look back and see how well you did. Try to answer these simple questions to check your productivity and effectiveness:

  • Did you manage to finish your tasks at a better pace?
  • Did your productivity increase?
  • How long did you manage to stay focused?

Final Thoughts

We belong to a generation where there are tons of live streaming events and social media posts generated in just a fraction of seconds. In today’s competitive environment, time is of the essence and productivity defines your effectiveness.

In order to help you improve your productivity, we elucidated various tips to use time batching to your advantage. So, whether you are still working from home or have started working in the office, make use of these tips and start seeing changes in your productivity levels.




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