Multi-tasking is not as productive as it sounds. Because the fact is, no one can concentrate on two mental tasks at the same time.
Sure, you can listen to a podcast while you fold laundry, because the laundry is a mindless task. You’re not really focusing on it. You’re mentally tuned in to the podcast.
This is the key to realize if you want to hone your time management skills as a homeschool mom.
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Multitasking is not your friend.
It will lead to a lot of half-done tasks.
What you need to embrace is batching and deep work.
Another book that has revolutionized my productivity is Cal Newport’s Deep Work.
I have more on my plate than I did 5 or 10 years ago, but I know how to fit it in. Because of batching and deep work.
Did you know that the brain research shows that when you multi-task and switch between things, you actually reduce productivity by a whopping 40 percent?
So if you’re switching multiple times even in the same hour or two, you’re never getting that concentrated deep work.
The better answer is to batch.
What exactly is batching?
It is grouping like tasks together on certain days and during certain time-blocked hours.
Remember yesterday’s post about 168 Hours? Look at your whole week and plan it based on batching like-tasks.
So, for my week, some of my batching might look like this:
- teach piano lessons – Tuesday afternoon
- record several podcast episodes – Wednesday afternoon
- work in the Etsy shop – Saturday morning
- laundry, order groceries, clean out fridge – Friday afternoon
- homeschool – 9-2 Monday through Friday
Can you imagine the chaos if I scheduled piano lessons here and there throughout the week? Every day at 3:30? That would be crazy.
What if I tried to fit in recording a podcast during a homeschool morning? That would never work.
Jim Elliot wisely and famously said: Wherever you are, be all there.
That’s exactly what batching and deep work will do for you.
Here’s how to make it work:
- Make a list of all your weekly responsibilities and tasks
- Download the Personal Productivity Analysis Guide
- Group like tasks together (use colored pens for a visual cue)
- Grab a Weekly Time Blocking sheet and write in when each task will be batched
- Follow Through
>> Find the week of Time Management for Homeschool Moms here<<
And find more amazing posts in this week’s Blog Hop from the Homeschool Review Crew!
I have never heard this called batching but the term makes sense. Blocks of time focused on tasks can be very effective. I have never been a multi-tasker but now it makes sense why – I like to get things accomplished well and quickly. Thanks for the informative post.
Sounds like you’re wired to be naturally more productive!! I’m more distracted if I’m not intentionally focused on one thing. Yes – I think there are probably multiple terms to describe this practice… like time blocking. 🙂
This makes so much sense….and it works! Sitting down and doing a bunch of the same stuff at the one time is so very effective!
Yes, it really is!
This is the first time I’ve heard of batching and I can definitely see the benefit. I’ll have to give it a try.
Awesome! I think you’ll see a major boost in productivity. 🙂