The benefits of batching tasks together

Apr 5, 2021 | Newsletter, Writing

Since October 28, 2019, Mondays have been my Batch Day. Don’t ask me why I know the date, but it’s a pretty big accomplishment to have a system of mine that has lasted longer than a couple of weeks.

What is a Batch Day? Well, it’s just my term for a day of the week where I try to get all of my chores and weekly tasks done and out of the way all at once. Despite the length of time I’ve been doing this, my task list for the day isn’t actually very long. I wanted to start small and add to the list when I got the hang of things, but thanks to Parkinson’s Law my list is still the same length and still somehow manages to take me all day. To finally do something about this, I’ve decided to try to do my writing on Mondays as well, which should give me an entire extra day thanks to all the procrastinating I currently do on each of the separate days. I didn’t want to combine them initially because I didn’t know how this whole writing thing would go, but I’ve gotten the hang of it enough that I definitely should’ve done this sooner.

Batching similar tasks together is a great way to get things done. Instead of doing laundry on Monday, cleaning on Tuesday, and vacuuming on Wednesday, you can batch those tasks together and do them all in one go. This obviously requires a larger chunk of time all at once, but it is liberating to remove the burdens from the rest of the week. Meal prepping has become a popular example of this method wherein instead of cooking every day, you batch cook enough food to last anywhere from a few days to a month so more often than not you’re free from the daily hassle.

Another added benefit of grouping tasks together is that you now associate each task with each of the other individual tasks, which makes it easier to create and cement a habit or routine. If you do the tasks in the same order each time, the completion of task A creates the trigger to then do task B. Pretty soon you’ll be coasting on autopilot instead of feeling overwhelmed at the seemingly mammoth day of chores ahead.

Aside from it being easier to create routines and the weight being lifted from other days of the week, the biggest benefit for me has been in my mindset shift. Because Monday is Batch Day, I’m mentally prepared and geared up for a Batch Day. For me, this is hugely important. Last week I talked about treating more decisions as binary so as to bypass my inner dialogue and by extension my proclivity to procrastinate and only do things when I feel like it. Batch Days accomplish this for me because they’re performing a grouped habit. I can no longer talk myself out of doing the tasks just because I don’t feel like it because Mondays are Batch Days, plain and simple. Surprisingly, I no longer dread the tasks at all either, and even somewhat enjoy them because they now represent discipline, good choices, and starting the week off on the right foot.

While this isn’t a perfect, foolproof system that’s guaranteed to work for everyone (or all the time; I’m known to skip a day or individual tasks), it has personally helped me quite a bit and I would think that most people could find a beneficial application in their own lives.

Have you tried batching tasks together before? If so, what has your experience been like?

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