Task Batching Creativity into Your Life
Task Batching Creativity into Your Life
Many of us are always striving to find more balance. Balance in physical, mental, and emotional health, work/life balance, balance in getting all of the things done, yet still having time for fun, relaxation, and sleep…
As I continue my search for more and more balance in my life, I’m finally starting to get comfortable with the fact that the journey of finding it is actually the destination. I’ve been getting more balanced within all the imbalances, trusting that they will teach me new ways to recalibrate. It’s super exciting!
But with that said, as exciting as the journey through imbalance can be, it’s important we keep learning to refine our days and habits toward more balance. While there are many things that we must do within each day, and many other things that we wish we could also fit into that 24-hour cycle, we must look for ways to group things together to be most efficient and effective to achieve the greatest balance. This is where task batching becomes essential.
What is Task Batching?
Task batching is a planning process that groups together similar activities. It can be applied in your career life as well as your day-to-day actions. The process of task batching can make your large amounts of “to-dos” more digestible, improve your attention and efficiency while reducing errors.
Task Batching vs. Multitasking
Task batching is not to be confused with multitasking. While batch tasking together related activities that are done individually and in an effective order, multi-tasking has us jumping around to several different tasks at once that are not necessarily related.
At the beginning of my professional life in the early 2000s, it was deemed important to know how to multi-task. The word was encouraged to be used on resumes as it showed potential employer’s that I was capable of juggling multiple things at once. Though it is sometimes impossible not to multi-task in careers and personal life, it is no longer encouraged. New research is showing that multi-tasking can bring down productivity by 40%! While it may seem like the multi-tasker is being super productive, they are likely doing it less quickly as their attention shift causes more distractions and mental blocks, which will actually slow them down. Recent studies are also showing that heavy multi-taskers brain health is declining, since constantly juggling different tasks makes it harder for them to focus, retain information, and complete the tasks at hand.
So, in a nutshell, we need to learn to do less multitasking and more task batching to be more productive, successful and maintain better mental clarity.
Task Batching Examples
There are a variety of unique ways, we can start to think about task batching throughout our days. Here are a couple of general examples that will apply to most of our day-to-day lives:
- Rather than checking your texts, personal email, and social media multiple times throughout the day, set aside a couple of times specifically dedicated to mindfully checking, responding, and/or update these. You will find your response time is better and your overall communication is clearer.
- If you feel like you are always cleaning, pick some time one day in the week to dedicate to organizing, vacuuming, and laundry. Dishes can be more difficult to do once per week. Think of cleaning up the dishes after you eat as part of the meal and overall digestion.
Better yet, we can even start to add in health habits by batch tasking:
- Create a morning routine of a healthy morning ritual of scraping your tongue, followed by hydrating with warm lemon water before you do anything else. With consistency, this will likely stimulate regular bowel movements, which will give you lightness and clarity as you start your day.
- Instead of stressing to squeeze more body movement, exercise, mindfulness, and/or meditation throughout your day, put them together as one delicious practice at the same time every day. There is no lovelier way to be still and observe your energy than after a good workout or movement practice!
Batch Tasking in Creativity
If you are anything like me and most adults, you are great at getting caught up in the daily grind. Your “to do” list is never-ending. You are super productive and always looking for more things to learn, ways to grow, and goals to accomplish. At the end of the day, you might feel good about all that you were able to get done, but something is missing…
Are you taking the time to be creative?
It was a very recent and important realization for me that I was missing a creative outlet in my life. While I was excellent at getting things done, task batching away personally and professionally, I still felt a deep sense of lack. As a kid, I would write, create art, dance, make music, or just simply be silly and free. That is what we are supposed to do as kids! It’s hard to keep that going into adulthood since we have so many responsibilities. How is it possible to have time to do it all?
We must task batch creativity!
If you have kids, this will be harder for you in one sense, since they probably make you generally busier, yet easier in another sense because you can get creative with them. Join in whenever possible on whatever creative thing they are doing!
If you don’t have kids around, you will have to get more creative about task-batching creativity.
One example of where I recently task-batched creativity into my day is in my meal preparation. Since I was already making food anyway, why not batch task it into an art project? This creativity starts when I’m at the grocery store. While I usually have certain staples that I eat throughout the week, I let my intuition guide me to the colors and textures of produce that I am drawn to on that particular day and season. Then as I’m preparing the meals, I have fun with colors, shapes, and layouts. Here are a few examples of my task-batched healthy food and creative art project.
Since I’ve never enjoyed cooking and meal prep much, task batching in creativity as art to my meal prep has been a game-changer! The meals are made with more love, since I’m having more fun preparing the meal, and therefore I digest it better! The best part is that I now have a little daily art outlet that doesn’t take any additional time out of my day since I’m already making my food!
Other simple ideas for batch tasking creativity into your day could be the following:
- Doodle or color before meditation to focus your brain.
- Write before you go to sleep. Don’t think too hard about what you are going to write. Just let it flow intuitively. It could be like a journal entry, a poem, or sometimes it might turn into a “to do” list. Whatever comes out is okay. Think of it as a brain sweep to clear the mind.
- Turn on your favorite upbeat song and dance freely before your workout. This could be your warm-up for your workout, or it could be your workout.
- Sing in the shower! Okay, this is technically multitasking but a very acceptable form of it, in my opinion!
These are just my ideas for task batching, but you may have completely different outlets for creativity. Let your mind run wild of all the things you wish you had more time to do and find tiny ways to incorporate them into your daily tasks. This is task batching at its finest! It can make your large amounts of “to-dos” more digestible, improve your attention and efficiency while reducing errors. It also helps you feel more deeply balanced between the pressures and pleasures of life’s journey!