Batching is the true practice of CEOs and leaders. Not multi-tasking.
Batching is not the same as multi-tasking. Have you ever bragged about being a “good multitasker”? Yup, we’ve been there too! We wore that badge with honor until we realized how inefficient it made us. We do still encourage multitasking in certain areas. For example, I grew my coaching business by listening to trainings while folding laundry, cooking dinner and doing dishes. I could do ONE important task while doing other mindless ones. As long as I could take notes along the way and rewind for review, I was good to go!
This is one way we would encourage a stay-at-home parent, who is working to grow a skill or business. What is beautiful about this way of working is that if you choose to work intentionally for a season then you can transition to more delegation. More on this on a separate post!
Instead of multitasking and making our minds switch back and forth on tasks and important work, we’ve learned the art of BATCHING. This has become a signature way of working at our home and in our business.
Batching at home
Our kids pack their lunches on Sunday nights for the WHOLE week! It’s a game changer, trust us. I order groceries on the weekends (usually Friday or Saturday). I shop for meals that week, lunch requests, and our consistent, go-to, healthy options: fruit, veggies, high protein grains, low sodium lunch meat and low fat cheese sticks. We have a bin for each kiddo labeled with their name that goes into an overflow fridge.
If you don’t have an extra fridge or space you may need to adjust this plan slightly. On Sundays, they have to pack 5 fruits, 5 veggies & 5 proteins then they can add in extras. For years the boys have not wanted to take sandwiches so people would ask how things stay fresh. They would often take yogurt, meat/cheese roll ups, trail mix or protein bars. Even now when they make sandwiches they seal them tightly and keep them in the refrigerator until the morning of school.
Each morning they load up their lunch + a freezer pack. Each afternoon they unpack freezer pack and store their lunch box. This method has created much more time, freedom, and reduced the emotional energy it takes to do it day by day. I know many parents pack their kids’ lunches, but we have been training the boys since kindergarten to do this step on their own. We chose this route again to empower our kids to do more on their own at an early age.
We run all laundry on Saturdays and the kids have it put away by Sunday night. Yes, our kids do all of their own laundry (& have for years). This goes back to what we are creating. Our goal is to launch young adults into the world who are trained to live on their own. We start our kids with chores early on so that we can incorporate the skills at each level.
Evie, age 3, helps us load things into the washer & dryer because she is the perfect size. It takes longer, but the training is helpful. Early on we helped with the soap and fabric softener, but now all boys, ages 10-13, can fully handle doing their laundry on their own. Each kid has a labeled laundry basket. We choose all the same size/shape so that they stack. By Sunday night our kids have to put their laundry away. We keep it simple by having drawers for socks, underwear & shorts and only hanging up shirts.
Batching for Business
As we mentioned earlier, you can multitask a mindless task – like folding laundry – with a rewarding task – like listening to a book or podcast. Self-improvement is at the heart of growing your business! So let’s do this thing!
Make a list of your priorities and the tasks that fall under those priorities.
Let’s say one of your priorities is to contact clients. And the tasks under that are to email your clients, call a few of them, and write up reports on each one. Well, the simple way to batch this is to do the computer things at once, and the phone things at once. Going from computer to phone to computer is an unnecessary challenge. Write a list of who you are contacting and how you are going to do that. Type your emails, then write up reports. Keep your phone away from you to keep distractions at a minimum!
If being on social media is a priority for your business – there are batching tools out there for you! Later for Instagram, Planoly for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram. All of these tools will help you to batch your posts, and will help you to stop falling into the dark hole of social media land!
Make a Plan. Work the Plan.
After you’ve listed your priorities and batched the tasks that go with those priorities – SCHEDULE when you are going to accomplish those batches. Maybe Mondays and Wednesdays are contact client days. Maybe Tuesdays are errands day. Thursdays are meetings day. You make a plan that makes sense for your lifestyle and your business – and then work that plan! Get your calendar out. Tell your spouse your plan. Stay accountable to your plan. Watch your plan help you to grow in your business, and efficiency!
Maybe you don’t think there is any way that batching is going to make that big of a difference in your life, or business. But that means you haven’t tried it yet! As our friend Bob Goff (ok. Not a personal friend. But we think he would be our friend if he knew us.) says, sometimes you just need to make a quarter of an inch turn to change the trajectory of your life. Sure, the direction you are headed in is good. But are you looking for Good, or GREAT? We want you to experience UNCOMMON FREEDOM, and you are not going to find it by doing common things like multi-tasking.
Let us know how your batching practices go. You can always leave a comment, or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook (Bekah and Kevin), or even on Pinterest! Let’s connect, friends!