When it comes to executing your work day in the most efficient and productive manner, taking control of your to-do or daily task list is just the first step.
Another measure I have been introduced to lately via this great webinar series from Alycia Edgar is batching.
I touched on this in my post on Tuesday but in essence:
Batching involves putting similar tasks or location based tasks together
to make more efficient use of your time – Alycia Edgar
This means that instead of getting into the office, quickly checking and answering emails before rushing off to a client meeting, then coming back to the office to do one piece of client work before heading off to another meeting … and so on, you schedule your day so that similar tasks can be executed back to back.
For example you can set up your day so that first thing in the morning you check your emails and prioritise them. Then for the next three hours you work solidly on the task list you created the day before. Have some lunch and then answer your morning emails and return phone calls before heading off in the afternoon for 2-3 meetings scheduled to occur one after the other. Then it’s back to the office or off home to check your emails one more time and create your task list for the next day.
This is obviously just an example of how you can structure your day and doing this means you get into the groove of whatever it is you are doing … and then you work that groove for maximum efficiency.
And batching doesn’t just apply to your day, you can apply it to your week, month and year as well.
For instance you can cluster client meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. You can set aside Tuesday mornings for admin and book keeping and Thursday mornings for business development. Not only does this mean you increase your overall productivity but it means that important things like admin and business development that often get de-prioritised when you are busy are kept at the top of the list.
Sit down and have a think about your typical day. Do you feel like you are overly reactive? In other words just jumping from one thing to another depending on who is screaming the loudest?
How can you structure your day more effectively using this batching technique?