Batching up the Work

The next step in getting reducing time spent doing things I don’t want to do.. or at least are just not productive!  (Read the last two blogs about this topic, I am shooting for a “4 Hour Work Week” as applied to retired people like me…)

OK, so this next step is BATCHING.  It just mean that if there is something that you NEED to do, and can’t easily be eliminated or delegated to someone else, the best thing to do is to do it the LEAST AMOUNT OF TIMES.  Which means, sometimes, batching it up.

For example, sorting through mail that arrives 6 days a week.  Let’s face it, most of it is either junk mail or catalogues.  Mostly catalogues you don’t want.

So I am going to batch up my mail.  I will only go through it ONCE A WEEK, I think I will plan on Monday mornings.  In between, I pile it on my desk, not even looked at.

You may think, well, that won’t save a whole lot of time!!  It may only take you 2 minutes to go through mail.

But it does save SOME time, and furthermore it eliminates one daily chore that gets in the way of doing what I really want to be doing. Called an unnecessary distraction.

All kinds of chores can be batched, and I figure if I take advantage of all of those opportunities, the time saved will add up to something significant… and my sense of dashing from one task to another – without accomplishing much — will go away.

Here are other things I’ve thought might be batchable (it will take some experimenting)

  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping (ie survive on what’s in your house except for the weekly trip to the store)
  • And related to Grocery Shopping: When I need something at the store that “keeps” well, I’m going to get two at one time, which doubles the time until I’ll need it again. (I’ll have to figure out storage for these extras though)
  • Dishes (do once a day rather than everytime a few dirty dishes appear.  Heck, I’d be glad to do them once a week, but the Health Department might not like that, and the ants would love it.)
  • “Putting things away”.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but you’d be surprised how much time I spend walking to and from the bedrooms and studies and bathrooms, just putting things back.  So here’s my plan: LARGE basket somewhere where I won’t trip over it and anything “out of place” gets dumped in there and once a week I walk around the house with the basket putting things back. (Like I said… an experiment)
  • Paying bills. Actually I already pay them just once a month, and most are already automatically paid electronically.. but if you are not doing that, please start! There is nothing less fun than sitting down to pay bills.

I considered putting “Clean House” on this list.. but I don’t clean very much and I certainly don’t want to commit to a schedule. LOL.  Unless I schedule cleaning once a month, would that be enough?  Maybe a housecleaner is in order, if I can justify the expense.

In the next post, I’ll tell you what to do about those catalogues.