Why (& How) I Batch My Work Life and Personal Life Tasks

Batching for a more efficient workflow


I love batching! It keeps my productivity up at work and in my personal life and batching items helps me stay focused, organized, and just generally get shit done! Personally, I feel way more efficient focusing on an item and completing it (and similar tasks) rather than constantly switching on different parts of my brain.

If you are looking for small, easy ways to streamline your day and increase efficiency in your life, here are some examples of how I like to batch my tasks...


Worklife

For those of you that don't know. I am an Office Manager at a Finance Firm. The company employees 100+ people and I have a team of 4 (+ 2 on Mat Leave) that I manage. 

Batching email responses:

The first thing I do every day is respond to any emails in my inbox. This way I can put miscellaneous items in my action log spreadsheet to follow up with later. My Action Log is just a simple spreadsheet with columns that allow me to effectively organize my tasks and close out items. It also comes in super handy when I need to search for an item that was completed months prior.




Batching projects:
Project Management is my favorite part of my role and takes up the bulk of my time. Since I constantly have different projects that I’m working on, I tend to focus and drill down to try to get the most work done in large chunks of time. For example, if I need to correspond with vendors, I'll call or email everyone in one sitting rather than spacing them throughout the day.

Batching on-boarding:
By consolidating all on-boarding items, I can easily make sure nothing gets forgotten. From welcome emails, PC set-ups, vendor log-ins, and authorization forms, it’s so much easier to hash out all of the details when you’re on a roll.

Batching procedures:
If my brain is focused on creating, auditing, and updating procedures I try to remain completely focused rather than switching back and forth between tasks.

Batching HR Items:
Health & Safety, reviews, training and development I stay within each silo and complete all outstanding items pertaining to that process at once.

Batching tech items:
We outsource our IT needs but since I’m the liaison between the staff and the tech company, I (and my team) are expected to do a lot of troubleshooting. I make sure I group IT needs together and then document outcomes for faster resolutions next time. Documenting it in my action log also helps me identify re-occurring issues.

Batching meetings:
I host a weekly meeting with my staff and make an agenda of discussion points that need to be filtered through the team. I like having everyone together to discuss how actions can affect the different workflows and also ensure items aren’t lost in email inboxes or aren’t actioned by the appropriate person. I think it’s so important to be transparent and engage the team to actively discuss efficiencies and tasks.

Personal life

Batching groceries:
As you know, I love my monthly grocery delivery! Tom and I share a Google spreadsheet to easily order all of our usual items. This means stuff doesn’t get forgotten and it eliminates paying for multiple deliveries. Our saved links are for Walmart (my personal favorite grocery delivery) so I can easily click the link and add it to the cart. The grocery shopping is my jurisdiction since I do 99% of the cooking. This shared doc makes it easy for Tom to go in and add items that he wants or needs. There’s also a handy spot for the max price we’re willing to pay from Walmart. For instance, I know Kleenex goes on sale at Rexall every month for $0.80 so if it costs more than that at Walmart, we skip it.


Batching cooking:
I’ll admit that I would love to do more batch cooking but with limited freezer space, I have to be smart about it. I only batch items that I know we'll have time to eat and that won’t get soggy. It's important to intentionally plan out what meals you are going to need over the next few days. I will never meal prep for the weekend because we are always out and about and love going for brunch or having simple, quick lunches on the go. We also budget eating a nice (take-out) meal after the kids are asleep and we’re winding down. Knowing your lifestyle and your family’s rhythm really goes a long way in simplifying some of the common stressors that arise. I also prefer to meal prep 3 days at a time, any more and I’m in the kitchen for way too long. I also run the risk of everyone getting bored of the food while there’s still leftovers lol.

Batch Cooking



Batching laundry:
I honestly pretend that it’s more efficient to do laundry less often so I make sure I have full loads. I then spend the evening folding laundry with a glass of wine and Netflix after the kids go to bed.


Batching cleaning:
I tend to go on rampages and do cleaning sprees rather than a tidy as I go. Lol I really wish I was more tidy on a daily basis but YOLO! That being said, I'm actively working on ways to incorporate more tidying without it feeling like a burden. One thing I do is clean the bathroom while the kids are in the bath. Simple and practical!

Batching bathing children:
Neither get solo baths anymore, they have to bathe together or not at all! lol


Batching sorting kids clothes:
I have a box in my closet where I store clothes that the boys have grown out of. Once the box is full, I do a final sort and box it up by age. All of Nixon’s items get box separately for the different friends that I’m passing them on to and Taylor’s gets boxed for Nixon to grow into. I then store the boxes and grab the next size up for the boys in one trip.


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