The other day I wrote about the benefits of time batching. I want to make sure this practice isn’t confused with the similarly named “time blocking.” They are actually two separate strategies for time management and they should be used together.
Time Batching: Do the same kind of task all at one time. You batch similar tasks together rather than spreading them out throughout the day or week. This saves you the mental energy it takes to switch from one task to another.
- Checking email for extended periods of time once or twice a day rather than repeatedly throughout the day.
- Writing three blog posts in one sitting and scheduling them to publish on different days (vs. writing and posting them on those days).
Time Blocking: Set aside a specific amount of time on your calendar for a project or task. You block out time on your calendar for specific work. This saves you the mental energy it takes to decide what to work on during your day.
- Scheduling time to answer emails between 11:00 a.m. and noon.
- Scheduling time to write blog posts on Monday afternoon.
These two strategies should be used together.
Block out time in your day for your batched tasks.
The single best thing I did this year to manage my day was create a “Personal Productivity” calendar in Google Calendar. I block out time for batched tasks on this private calendar. I always plan a day ahead. I don’t have to think about what I should be working on at any given time because I already decided that for myself the day before.