I love being efficient. Productivity is a huge part of my website, and a real driving force behind a lot of what I do. As Ali Abdaal once said, we are productive so that we can have more fun. I’ve taken that to mean that you should maximise your efficiency to minimise time wasted on activities you’d rather not spend excess time on, giving you more freedom in your time after work or any other activities that you have to do, to give you more time to do things that you want to do.
That’s exactly why I batch near enough everything that I do. By batching, I mean doing lots of the same task all at once. It keeps your brain in the same space, whether it’s a time for creativity or for more routine processes, such as doing the dishes and washing clothes. I’m going to break down some of my activities and explain why I batch them, how to do this, and why batching can be such a beneficial way to operate your life.
Next to planning ahead, batching activities is the #2 activity in saving time, getting organised, and feeling more productive every day.
With blogging, I like to write my posts for the next teaching term so that they are ready to be automatically published every week. This involves writing around 6 blog posts. So, to make this happen, I plan the term’s content in one go, then I’ll perform a lengthy writing session, return to the posts a day or so later to edit them and capture and edit the thumbnails – again, all in one go.
Benefits: Batching my blog like this keeps my brain in a certain headspace to work optimally. This helps me to produce the best content at the fastest rate possible. Likewise, getting it all ready in one go ensures that I can continue posting weekly, rather than falling off the blogging bandwagon when school work ramps up.
Washing and cleaning
These are activities that I don’t particularly enjoy. I might like the end result, and feel good about a job well done, but I don’t exactly look forward to vacuuming every week (which is exactly why a smart hoover is on my tech wish list). This is why I leave all of my cleaning-related activities for one time slot, usually on a Saturday morning.
Following a cooked breakfast – a reward for a week well done – I’ll clean the oven, hoover, mop, clean the bathroom, and put a wash on. Likewise, any dishes that build up throughout the day will be saved until after I’ve eaten each evening, so I can run the tap and clean them in one go. Not only does this save water, it crucially keeps me from constantly getting distracted from whatever I was doing to clean a dish here and there.
Benefits: You can devote more blocks of time to the activities that you enjoy by doing necessary, but not enjoyable, tasks like these all in one go. Plus, if you’re anticipating a lengthy cleaning sessions, pop on your headphones and catch up on a podcast at 2X speed or all of that telly that you’ve been putting off throughout the week. Why not make the mundane a little more exciting?
Cooking and shopping
Cooking is such a drag. I just want to eat tasty, healthy meals, but without dedicating hours every day after work to producing new meals. To help cut down on this time, I decided to use my Bullet Journal to plan meals in advance, but batching goes the extra mile to complement this routine. After assessing how many new meals I need to make for the week ahead, I’ll prepare and cook my food all in one go, usually on a Sunday morning/afternoon. This cuts down on the cost of heating my oven, since I’m cooking multiple meals at the same time, and gives me plenty of time back during the week.
I’m also a firm advocate of the weekly ‘Big Shop’, avoiding the supermarket at all other times. This saves a bunch of time that I’d rather devote to getting home quickly after work to avoid rush hour, as I’m no longer racing around the same supermarket four times a week.
Benefits: Lots of time saved from cooking one food while another boils or simmers, and less time spent shopping for essentials. This is especially important in times of COVID, where the fewer times I see unmasked or infected strangers, the better. I’d get everything delivered to save even more time if Morrison’s Teacher Discount was available online. However, now that the 10% discount promotion has ended, it might be time to upgrade my routine even further!
Those are my top five things to batch! What are yours?