How much time can batching save you?

How many repeated processes do you have? How many of them do you batch in to single work times? How much time would you save if you actually did that?

I know that if I dealt with every email purchase receipt as it came in I’d spend a good portion of each week opening my accounting software (which is just a fancy Numbers sheet) entering a single transaction. Closing numbers and then figuring out what I was really doing anyway.

Bootstrapped Web had a great show recently on Systemized Work.

The truth is that for a long time I did enter each Amazon or Saas reciept in to numbers as it came in. After tracking my accounting time for a few months I couldn’t believe how much time I was loosing to it.

Now I add each receipt to OmniFocus and deal with them on Friday. By doing that I was able to cut my accounting time in half.

Yes focusing the task to one time when that’s all I did bought me hours.

Email

Email is another time killer. I used to just leave my email client open all day and yes my phone beeped and had a badge to show me the unread messages.

Now I deal with email for 25 minutes at 1pm and take another quick look through it at 4:30pm. Most messages at 4:30 get filed in OmniFocus for the next sending email time (and boy would I love an email client that let me send without seeing the inbox).

For me this process means that I take all emails in my inbox and process them in order. If it takes less than 2 minutes to reply I do it right away.

If it’s about a specific project I file it in OmniFocus with the project and deal with it while I’m billing for the project.

If it’s client follow up/marketing I defer it to a time of the day when all I do is deal with client follow up/marketing.

I was able to cut my email time by 20% by batching similar tasks.

My question this week is, what can you stop doing every second it happens and start batching in to zones of time?

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

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