How to be More Efficient in Your Business with Batching

Multi-tasking slows down your brain, causes severe stress, and can even increase rage according to John Naish, writer for the UK DailyMail. One study found that after just 20 minutes of interrupted performance, people reported significantly higher stress levels, frustration, effort, and pressure.

Switching between tasks can make you up to 40% slower, which causes inefficiency.

The solution? Batching - also known as chunking or theming. People are designed to focus on one task at a time. By mono-tasking, you actually give your brain the chance to relax into one continuous state for a while which ultimately increases efficiency and creativity. It’s like putting your brain on cruise control so it uses less energy.

Batching is a technique where you work on similar activities for a period of time before moving on to a different group of related tasks. This eliminates the noise and overload of ‘ramping up’ to get into a different mindset for the next action item.

Imagine how you feel after a long, congested commute and then immediately need to make a sales call or write a blog post. Most people need a few minutes to switch gears from the intense driving mode to sales or writing mode to be the most effective. These few minutes of transition time quickly add up to wasted hours each day.

When you want to be more productive, eliminate the number of times you switch gears by batching.

Start grouping several individual tasks into one big area of focus. If you ever waited tables in a restaurant, it’s the same concept. Smart servers treat their assigned section as one big table – not five smaller tables. Every time you left the kitchen, you should visit (or at least observe) all of your tables to see what was needed, not just one table at a time. This eliminates extra trips to the kitchen, provides faster service, and hopefully optimizes your tips while reducing your stress. You batched your tasks.

By combining related activities into batches, you improve your focus because you are doing like tasks in one sitting. This efficiency strategy works well because it removes distractions and you become exponentially more productive.

To batch successfully, group tasks logically by their function. Even better, create ‘theme days’ to further batch activities. For example, Mondays are writing days (ie: blogs, newsletters, social media posts). Tuesday are business development days (ie: networking and coffee meetings). Wednesdays are phone call days (ie: follow up calls, cold calls, client appreciation calls). Thursdays are coaching days with current clients. Fridays are thinking days (ie: quiet time for planning the vision and exact steps to grow my business even more).

Theme Days increase productivity since you know exactly what to do on each day.

Besides efficiency, there are other benefits to batching. The enhanced concentration allows you to have greater cognitive acuity, stay energized, avoid procrastination, and maintain calm as you complete your work.

Many of my clients report that task batching has been the most powerful skill they now use each day. They save more time, money, and energy with batching and have less overwhelm and stress. They also have more ease in their day and enjoy stronger business results.

Sara Davidson of chat-software company Brazen also recommends batching. She advocates it to minimize clutter, enhance concentration, and limit time lost to transitions. It takes time and effort to shift gears when multi-tasking. That’s wasted time that doesn’t increase your company’s bottom line. Try batching for just one week and see how easy it is to gain back at least an hour of time every day.

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Are you interested in streamlining your business and enhancing your productivity? Batching is just one technique. At Gain Advantages, we maximize business productivity and bottom line revenues by implementing the most effective systems and processes. Click for your free guide.

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Nancy Gaines

Nancy Gaines is CEO/Founder of Gain Advantages Inc. and has been advising small businesses and Fortune 100 companies how to increase revenues through proven systems for almost two decades. She is a best-selling author and international keynote speaker. Nancy has been named in the Top 100 Productivity Experts to follow on Twitter and has a global podcast downloaded in over 90 countries. Her main focus is creating business processes with actionable steps so her clients achieve more consistency, ease, and ultimate success.

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