I’ve been interested in batch processing my work lately to see if I can become more productive and even accomplish more during my busy day! I’ve signed up for a lot this year and as a side note probably a little too much.
I first heard of batch processing work tasks when reading the 40 Hour work week by Tim Ferris [Affiliate Link]. I also found a batch processing article from the Problogger archives discussing and how he uses batch processing for his blogging tasks.
Okay, so what is batch processing? In my own words, I understand it to be performing a task in one defined time period or sitting versus throughout the day. I think email is probably the best example. Many of us are flooded by email during the day. The natural thing to do is check our inbox constantly and then read and respond to new email as they arrive.
Overall, I find this approach to be distracting and it interrupts other work tasks I’m trying to focus on. The batch processing approach says read and check my email at a defined time period during the day. But what if I’m expected to stay on top of email throughout the day as part of my job? Some people do have to read email more often than others and if that’s the case, you can create multiple batch jobs during the day versus just one.
So, now that I’ve highlighted an example of batch processing, I’m going to share some personal tasks I think I can batch each day to become more productive.
Personal Email – My email is more under control that it used to be, but it still can become overwhelming. I’ve managed to unsubscribe from a lot of lists and make sure I’m subscribed to RSS feeds when possible. My goal is to read personal email each evening and respond to blog related emails at the end of each week.
Social Media/Read blogs - Social media, i.e., Twitter isn’t as easy to batch if you want to have 2-way communication with people. But I do think I can batch the one way communication such as sharing links and content from my blog. I also have a bunch of blogs I subscribe to and try to share content to participate in the personal finance blog community. I think I can do these tasks in 30 minutes per day and look at Twitter before work and during work breaks when engaging with others in social media.
Article submissions – Along with social media it’s important for me to submit articles to blog carnivals and other personal finance article sites. I’m going to try to batch article submissions two different time periods during the week: Thursday night and Saturday.
Writing/blogging - Writing definitely takes a lot of focus and quiet time for me to be productive and I’m definitely at my best when it’s done in one sitting versus broken up into smaller pieces. My life is pretty busy but I believe I can devote anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per day to write. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot compared to most bloggers but this time assumes I already have a topic and have done some research. My goal is to get up early in the morning and write before I go to work.
I know there are many more activities I can batch during the week and I plan to keep working on the list. I’ll also have to roll with the punches the best I can as sometimes these activities won’t get as much dedication or completed at all. That’s just life as there are many things on my list these days!
What do you think? Can batch processing your work or tasks make you more productive?