Less time to sleep, eat (that is why the business of fast food is so successful) and less time to meet people in person; although there is time to surf and chat online, and to talk on cell phone for hours together in a day. Yes that is what digital age has done to us.
Less time is not an issue only for those who pass time interacting digitally or surfing the web for endless hours. There are people who are constantly at work and still worry about less time on their hands.
Is there a solution? Try batching. Chances are that most of us have experienced it. It only needs to be applied to different types of activities. People do a week’s laundry at one go; this is batching at work. It does save time and makes people more productive.
Logic is simple when you do same tasks spread over various time slots, you need to do same preparation every time you start working on the task in question. The time of getting in and out of the task is also added to the completion time.
Simple is better
Organizations want to be productive and efficient. They try to achieve this by creating systems, processes and providing better tools. Human beings still run organizations, not sure what will be the scene in year 2050; so individual efficiency and productivity impacts organizations.
Batching brings work from the realm of complex to simple. Complex is OK but simple is better. Do you prefer 10 steps on online banking IVR (Interactive Voice Response) or will be happy with 3?
What all can you batch?
Emails: Do only once a day; say at 12 during the day or 4pm in the evening.
Meetings: Batch your meetings for the week on 1 or 2 days. One can easily go through 2 to 5 meetings in a day depending on intensity and travel time.
Writings: If you are a writer/blogger, you can batch writing-time over weekends. This suits people who work in a job and want to write regularly. Nothing beats writing everyday but this is a solution for those who find it hard to take time to write daily. For me this is a core activity so I do it every day.
Thinking and creating: Keep one day or couple of hours aside for thinking and a separate slot for creating. Same works if you are working on a big project. In this scenario devote an entire week for preparation (data gathering, taking report/research/case-studies print outs, meeting people, setting up online docs to work; if the project is very important then also take time to get your tools in shape — laptops, chords etc.); later you can do actual work.
Family Time: This is for entrepreneurs who are not able to give time to family and friends. This should not be a long-term strategy but only for when you have be really involved, mostly during start-up phase.
I am eager to know how it works for you.
What all are the tasks that you think can be batched?