Why Time Batching is the BEST. THING. EVER.
SERIOUS QUESTION: How many times each day do you feel distracted by your phone, email, phone calls, texts, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, etc.?
Same!!! In fact I was literally driving myself crazy by allowing distractions to control my life.
Back story: I was diagnosed with ADD my freshman year of college but I struggled with focus in high school too. It’s been something I’ve had to deal with for as long as I can remember, but over the last few months I started noticing my ADD felt OFF THE CHARTS.
After doing some self-reflection I realized I developed some seriously BAD HABITS in the last year. Being self-employed requires discipline and I was slipping. It felt like I was always working but never getting anything done. For example, I would start a project and then immediately pick up my phone to go scroll through IG. I would read emails as they came in while working on something else. I would check and respond to emails at the grocery store, and sit on Facebook while I was at work. It’s impossible to get anything done that way!
Here's what I did specifically:
I deactivated my Facebook account because I don’t feel Facebook was bringing any value to my life, it was just another distraction.
I deleted email from my phone completely. Seriously!!! Now I am only ABLE to check email from my computers. This helps me to stay off my phone in general.
I deactivated my personal Instagram account. Like Facebook, no real value, just a distraction.
I started forcing myself to create a daily schedule and stick to it.
I am now checking emails only 1x per day each morning.
As I go through email, I make my list of tasks for the day (or add them to yesterday's list if it was left unfinished.)
I have text message notifications turned off and instead I make sure to check my texts every couple of hours and respond to them all at once.
Instagram notifications are off.
I dedicate an hour sometime in the afternoon when I need a break from work to go on Instagram, post, and engage with my followers.
I am batching all phone calls on the same day and meetings on the same day (or as much as I can without being totally unavailable to my clients.)
I am only human and it's only been a week. So of course I have slipped up a few times, gone on Instagram when it wasn't the designated time, and checked emails later in the day if I'm looking for a response on something. But the point is, I'm now aware of the difference between making the conscious CHOICE to use email or social media instead the notifications and constant noise distracting me and controlling my life.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am able to focus, be productive, get stuff done without distractions, and BEST OF ALL.. ENJOY MY TIME OFF! When I’m done working for the day, I leave work—including emails, Instagram, and stress—at the office. That means I can actually focus on making the Blue Apron, try my hardest in Cyclebar, pay attention to a tv show or my time with Billy in the evenings, and go to bed feeling more relaxed.
I feel like my stress and anxiety have decreased while my productivity has increased. What more could we ask for, really?
Leave YOUR tips for increased productivity in the comments!
I'm Gretchen Kamp.
I'm a graphic designer turned business owner who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I am a soon-to-be fiancé to a handsome nerd, and a mom to a goofy snaggle-tooth rescue pup. I love traveling the world and teaching other female entrepreneurs everything I've learned in the last three years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me at Cyclebar or galavanting in San Diego with my semi-insane girlfriends.