I first heard about “batching” from Kiley in Kentucky on her anchor.fm broadcast. She described her process for getting things done, however, she didn’t go into great detail about it, so I did a google search and found another article about it by Michael Hyatt. He referred to it as the Pomodoro Technique.
What is Batching (The Pomodoro Technique):
Simply put, batching is setting aside time to get something done without getting distracted. The method works by setting aside 25 minutes on a task, or similar related tasks with no distractions, setting a timer, and then working on that task straight through. After 25 minutes, you take a break and then plow ahead in the same way for another 25 minutes.
How to Start Batching
First you need a list of tasks that need to be accomplished. Remember way back when that I posted about the Brain Dump? Well you could use that worksheet to figure out what tasks need to be worked on the most and use that for this process.
Batching: Next Steps
After you have a list of what you need to do and hopefully which ones are the most important to start with, then get a timer and set it for 25 minutes and go to work. Michael Hyatt suggests this:
Set a timer for 25 minutes and devote that time to a task, or to a group of similar tasks. Larger tasks can be broken into multiple blocks or “pomodoro’s,” and smaller tasks (responding to email, returning phone calls, etc) can be grouped into a single block. After completing each Pomodoro, you put an “X” next to it and mark the number of times that you were distracted.
Another idea is to use an app. There are several “Pomodoro” apps out there, but the one I really like is called BeFocused. This seems to do the job for me, but you can try the other ones out there and see if they help you more.
After you complete the 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Do this for every goal you are able to set aside time for and pretty soon your tasks will be completed. After you’ve done 4 rounds of “pomodor0’s”, take a longer break. Don’t forget to go to take a lunch/dinner break and go to the bathroom!!
This process helps you become more productive and in no time, you’ll start seeing your productivity go up and you will notice that you are getting things done faster and with less distractions. I’m still working this out myself. Today, while I was batching for blogging, I got interrupted 5 times by kids and husband, so a work in progress it is! So I’ll keep at it.
What processes do you use to keep yourself from distractions and to encourage productivity?