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 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?