Batcher’s Dozen: 12 Routines for Multifaceted Productivity

Batchers DozenIn this monthly series, I explain how I’ve combined batching (combining multiple activities into one integrated routine) with daily checklists to be productive on multiple fronts.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve developed the habit of keeping a daily to-do list. Early on in the process, I realized that 12 checkboxes were the sweet spot for me – any less felt unproductive and any more felt overwhelming. At the beginning of 2016, I decided to create AM and PM routines to combine several activities together so I could quickly complete these tasks in an orderly fashion. Gradually, I identified 12 of these “batched” routines in my life. These routines led to increased productivity and allowed me to be a high-performing Renaissance Person (I’ve used the term “multifaceted productivity” to be a bit more concise).

To make this concept applicable to many others, I decided to give each routine a generic title. Over the next months, I will explore each of these routines more in-depth, including my own practices and suggestions for implementation. I could see myself turning this into a publication, but first I need to start with more manageable blog posts and see if it takes shape or not.

Here are the 12 batched routines, in rough chronological order for me, with a brief description of what each looks like for me:

  1. AM Routine: I get the day started with an ordered process of cleaning, pet care, grooming, breakfast, and reading. (It no longer takes me 2 hours after waking up to get out of the house)
  2. Movement: I go to a hot yoga session, alternating between 3 different classes throughout the week. Between the preparation and post-workout shower, it can take close to 2 hours, so it’s important for me to have an efficient routine.
  3. Administration: I answer emails (unless an email’s urgent, I only reply during this time), check social media, update my finances, and complete any small tasks such as a brief phone call.
  4. Creative Practice: I practice bass using a daily routine of technical and applied exercises. I also have a weekly schedule in which I alternate between electric/upright, as well as varying up my techniques, scales, styles, and tunes.
  5. Professional Projects: I write blog posts 2 days a week and spend the remaining days working on my (forthcoming) publications and online courses.
  6. Dietary Practice: I maintain meal plans that I am continually modifying to find a good balance between health-conscious and enjoyable. In addition, it takes time to prepare and clean up after my specialized meals.
  7. Errands/Chores: I run errands 2 days a week (mostly going to the grocery store after yoga to get fresh produce) and spend the remaining days alternating between cleaning my kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom.
  8. Tasks: I’m still working on a systematic approach to knocking out other to-do items – including emergencies, regularly-schedule tasks, and non-pressing things like repairs that still need to be done.
  9. Hobby: I try to do a little work each day on my monthly cross-stitch project. Unlike other routines, where I need to force myself to get started, with this I often have to force myself to stop past a certain point.
  10. Socialization: I phone/message/email family or friends and occasionally meet up with folks after my professional outings (see below). As a socially-anxious hermit, this requires an embarrassing amount of motivation.
  11. Professional Outings: Almost every night, I head out to teach ensembles/classes/lessons or go to a gig or rehearsal. I’d like to be doing more freelance gigs and teaching more lessons, but feel I’m making good progress toward my ideal work schedule.
  12. PM Routine: I prepare for bedtime (i.e. resist the urge to stay up till 3am) with tidying up, grooming, and journaling.

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist, Instructor, Writer

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