Working Homeschool Moms Who Batch Tasks Manage Their Time Better
Us moms who homeschool and work, have to juggle all the things. So it’s easy for life to feel chaotic and overwhelming. But there’s a science-backed way to manage time more productively…and that’s to batch tasks.
What is Task Batching?
Batching tasks is a way to group all the same types of tasks together. (And it works very well with block scheduling!) I’m sure you’re familiar with batch cooking…so this is batch cooking for your brain!
You group similar tasks together, much like you do when you batch cook, and it saves time and stress in the long run. Sounds great, right? So why is it so effective?
When you Batch Tasks, Your Brain is Happy
Many studies have shown the detrimental effects of multi-tasking. Dr. Clifford Nass speaks about the Myth of Multitasking, in an NPR interview. He says that people who multitask are incredibly distracted. And we all know that distraction is incredibly bad for productivity!
On the other hand, batching makes for a happy brain. If you batch tasks you:
- avoid jumping from one task to another, which tires and confuses your brain,
- concentrate on one specific task at a time, thereby giving it your full brain capacity,
- save time by avoiding all the transitioning from one task to another,
- and you prevent yourself from the ultimate distractors, namely social media and email.
How to Batch Tasks as a Working Homeschool Mom
Batching often gets talked about in terms of work and productivity. But I think us working homeschool moms, often need to adopt productivity tools in order to manage everything that we need to do.
Batching Housework and Cooking
Housework and cooking definitely work well when batched! You know what it’s like when you get into that cooking or cleaning zone. It feels like you could go on forever. And this shows the power of batching.
You also save all the other additional time suckers like cajoling your kids into cleaning. If your kids know what day they’re going to clean, they can prepare themselves for it. And the same goes for avoiding all the extra cleaning up you have to do if you’re cooking every day.
I love batching appointments because it gives my indecisive brain easy parameters to work within in. I have a day that I use for appointments so I know when I’m free, rather than having to juggle everything around or think which is a good day.
I also keep all my podcast interviews and editing on a certain day. Then I know that I must be in podcast mode for that day and I can prepare myself mentally.
You could even batch tasks related to homeschooling. Why not? I’ve spoken many times about the flexibility of homeschooling and I’m a huge fan of scheduling creatively! You could:
- spend a whole week on one subject, which is awesome for really deep diving into something,
- or group similar subjects together like reading and writing.
We all have to answer emails, and this is a good idea to batch. Because emails can be so distracting!
I’m someone who tends to forget an email or message if I don’t answer immediately. Or so I’ve always told myself. But boy, did I have to break this habit! One email and 30 minutes of social media later, I wasted so much time!
Another thing about batching emails is that you really have to put some boundaries in place. And this can be hard! Because most people prefer to get their email answered immediately. But it’s just so easy to get sucked into your phone. Is the stress really worth it to keep other people happy?
How to Batch Tasks Like a Boss
You know my philosophy on change. It’s hard. But at the same time, it’s possible if you break it into smaller, more manageable chunks. I suggest following these steps to start batching:
- Do a time audit so that you know exactly where you spend your time. Then get rid of what you don’t need or what doesn’t serve you anymore.
- Put similar tasks into ‘buckets’.
- Create a block schedule, and slot these buckets into the blocks that you think suit them best.
- Start with just a few things before you go all out.
- Test them out for some time.
- Tweak if necessary.
- Add in more tasks, if you feel comfortable.
- Test and tweak again.