Productivity hack 3 – Do similar tasks together

Text - Productivity hack 3 - Do similar tasks together
This is from a series on the top 9 productivity hacks that you don't have time to ignore. Do similar tasks together. All are easy and effective productivity tips to fit into your life.
You are in the right place if you are looking for ideas to improve your productivity, planning and organisation.
 
This is the third blog post in a series on the top 9 productivity hacks.
 
There are hundreds of productivity hacks out there. Most will work in one way or another, but will depend on what you are looking for. The ones we are interested in will work for all areas of your life, work or personal.
 
Only the ones that are quick and easy to implement and have proven great results have made it onto the list.
 
At the end of the series I’ll post them all together in an overview.
 

Productivity hack 3 – Do similar tasks together

 
We all know that if you are doing a repetitive task, it is easier to do it for double the time and get it done, rather than doing it over multiple occasions.
 

You didn’t know that? Well let me tell you it is true.

It may be boring to spend longer on it, but how demoralising is it if you know you have to do it all over again tomorrow. It’s better to get it completed and then it’s over and done with.

 
The same can be said for similar tasks. If you are doing a similar activity, whilst you are doing it for one task, you may as well tick it off the list for another.
 

Task switching is not efficient

Time is lost every time you switch tasks, as your brain has to adjust to the new processes that it has to deal with. This is known to be true for even simple tasks. More time is saved if your brain doesn’t need to switch between tasks and can focus on similar activities in rapid succession.
 
Task batching works because you’re maintaining the same frame of mind for all the tasks involved.
[blockquote]“We often think that combining tasks will save us time, but scientific evidence shows that it has the opposite effect. Even those who claim to be good at multitasking are not very productive. In fact, they are some of the least productive people. Our brains can take million bits of information but can only actually process of few dozen per second. When we say we’re multitasking, what we’re really doing is switching back and forth between tasks very quickly. Unfortunately, we’re not computers adept at parallel processing. We end up spending all our energy alternative between tasks, instead of focusing on doing one of them well. Concentrating on one thing at a time may be the single most important factor in achieving flow.” ― Héctor García,  The Japanese Secret of Long Life[/blockquote]

Do you sit at your desk with your email open and then get sucked into reading and answering emails all day long every time they come in? Instead, try batch processing your emails just once a day as described in Productivity hack 2 – Declutter your online life.
 
This technique is not just for emails, but for anything that is usually a distraction for you. Tasks such as making phone calls, checking voicemail, social media, cooking, cleaning, etc..
 
I have taken full advantage of this approach in my cleaning routine. My routine involves only doing one task per day, but complete it for all rooms in the house. This way you only have to get the cleaning tools out for that specific activity and you can really speed up your cleaning.
 

Schedule tasks together

 
Always batch similar tasks together when planning your day, it’ll definitely make your day flow better.
 
This is where breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, as detailed in Productivity hack 1 – take control of your to-do list really helps. By breaking down the tasks you can more easily see similar activities that could be done together.
 
Whether it is similar activities or activities in a similar location, having a list of everything you need to do really helps. You can now identify where the similarity is and then schedule them to be done together.
These techniques will pay dividends with your efficiency.
 

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