Let's get right to the point. Cut your time in half by grouping similar tasks together. Why?
Every time you switch tasks and your brain has to re-focus, you lose about 25 minutes. That's nearly 1/2 of every hour!
Just think of what you could do with all that saved time and take some for yourself.
Grouping tasks is sometimes call batching or chunking, but it's all the same thing. Do similar tasks together so your brain can stay focused on similar topics.
You might think this is such a no-brainer why am I even suggesting it. Here's the thing, it's so easy in concept and so hard in practice. It takes making it a habit to really make it flow, which means you need to be diligent about practicing it.
How do you practice it to put it on auto pilot?
- You need to plan. Yes, you need to schedule time in your day when you'll tackle a task group
- You need to focus and be diligent. It's so easy to be writing, get a notification and zip off to check email or social media or answer the phone. Be your own task master, find an accountability partner or coach.
- You probably need to train your clients too. Set up automated email responses indicating when you'll be checking email. You can set up your calendar for clients to schedule time with you in only the designated chunks of time. You can let clients know best chunk of time to reach you by phone.
How badly do you need more time and what are you willing to do to get it?
If you're not sure whether this is a problem for you, get the time-tracking journal and commit to tracking what you do for 7 days. Then look back and see when you actually did activities and how many times they were sprinkled throughout your day or your week. Here's a list of activities you should be grouping. See how often they show up in your time tracking journal. (p.s. Don't get distracted during your time tracking analysis!)
What can be grouped, batched and chunked?
- Phone calls (separate time for clients and personal)
- Meeting time
- Social media check-in and comments
- Scheduling your posts
- Research (best to keep this separate from your writing, just mark items for follow-up research)
- Expense & Revenue data entry
- Email check-in and responding
- Bill Paying
- Industry Reading (you are keeping up on what's happening in your industry right?)
- Filing (digital or paper files)
- Photos for social media and your posts
- Business development
This list is to just get you started. Find other tasks you can group together and cut your time even more.
What have you decided to group together?
Share in the comments how you're going to cut your time in half!