If you apply this simple technique, you will be more effective and get more of the right things done.
Since we live busy lives, having ways that can make us work smarter is an advantage.
Does This Way of Working Sound Familiar?
You sit down to work on your first task. A few minutes in, you get a notification on your phone or computer. You read that notification and respond if required.
Now, you get back to working on your task. As you’re working, you remember you wanted to check something online that you didn’t check before you started working.
You switch over to your internet browser and before you know it, 15 or 20 minutes have gone by. You’re annoyed with yourself for going on the internet. You get back to your task.
You take several minutes to refocus and get back to where you had left off.
As you’re concentrating well again, your phone rings. Now, you’re deciding whether to answer or ignore it because you have done nothing productive so far. Since you’re already distracted, you answer it.
And so it goes. Distractions and interruptions will affect how much you produce every day.
The Downside of Working That Way
If you’re constantly stopping and restarting when you’re working, it will:
- Slow your progress.
- Cause you to lose focus.
- Generate more stress because you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like.
- Make you unproductive.
- Cause you to feel fatigued easily.
- Affect your ability to deal with distractions.
- Cause you to feel you’re always behind and trying to catch up.
- Not allow you to get into a rhythm while working.
This is a bigger challenge if you’re trying to do many similar tasks or repeated processes throughout the week.
There is one simple technique you can apply to become more effective.
One Simple Technique That Will Help You Be More Effective
A productivity technique is to use batching to get more things done quicker. Batching refers to grouping similar tasks or processes and completing them together to speed up their completion.
For example, you may batch all the phone calls you have to make and do them in one sitting. This is better than spreading them throughout the day.
While batching is useful, you can take it one step further. This is where the technique of mega-batching can be a game changer.
Mega-batching works best for any task or project you do on a recurring basis. It’s where you apply a high level of focus to that one task or project in big chunks.
An example of where I’ve applied it is to my written content creation process. There are several steps involved to publish a written piece of content. This includes:
- Researching topics.
- Planning or outlining.
- Editing and reviewing.
- Publishing and sharing.
Each step can take between one to two hours. In the past, I used to do these steps one article at a time. While that way worked, I’m more efficient if I complete the steps in chunks.
This is where I use the mega-batching process for each step. Instead of researching one topic at a time, I block five hours to complete six months of content research.
This includes identifying article topics, testing article headlines, doing keyword research and finding any reference material. At the end of this step, I know what I can write about over the next six months.
During those six months, if I get new content ideas, I will add it to a “Do Further Research” list. I then repeat that step a few months later.
I’m also applying the same process for two of the other steps. This has made my written content process a lot more effective.
The Benefits of Using This One Simple Technique
When you apply mega-batching to your workflow, you will:
- Become very focused when you are working.
- Have more flexibility.
- Free up time to focus on other important tasks and be creative.
- Have buffer or breathing room so you’ll experience less stress.
- Have more time to review your work because you’re not rushed.
- Give yourself a break from doing that task, which means when you return to it, you’ll feel refreshed and energised.
How to Get Started With Mega-Batching
We all have different ways of working. You can use these suggestions and adapt them to your specific situation.
- Review your workflow and identify projects, tasks or activities you do repeatedly.
- Choose one project to focus on first.
- For that one project, list all the steps involved from start to finish.
- Rearrange all the steps and put them in order or a sequence.
- Group steps into chunks. For example, one chunk can be planning, with five specific steps for it.
- Involve team members, if required.
- Choose what you want to batch and your batch number. How many do you want to do at a time?
- Decide how long you will work on your batch. This can be hours or days.
- Schedule your first batch and block out time in your calendar for it.
- Track your progress and note what’s working or not working.
- Review after completing your first batch and make adjustments as required.
- Repeat the process.
When you use mega-batching, you’ll be more effective because you won’t be switching between tasks. Since it’s a process, you can make it your own after doing it a few times.
If you use mega-batching regularly, you’ll see your productivity improve, which will make you feel great about your work.
Action Step: Decide on one project or task you can apply the mega-batching technique to. Use the steps suggested to start the process and refine it to make it work for you.
Question: What is another simple technique that will make us more effective?