I used to excel at wasting time on the internet reading things. However, I have realized, I don’t have time to read them because I am on the computer for other reasons (mostly work related). So I needed to do something about it. I am also a home schooling parent so I have to organize my time wisely in order to get everything done but I do want to keep up with blogs, specials, social media, and other important information. So how do I manage?
I started getting interested in this relatively new idea called “batching”. This is a computer geek term for processing a bunch of similar tasks at once. So I started to batch my life a little to see how it fit my personality. And I really like it. I now batch my emails at 10am and 2pm everyday and keep to those times to write and respond to emails (the same with business phone calls). I also batch some of my online work like videos (I film weeks worth of instruction at a time), editing (I edit them all in a session), social networking (I get it all done in small periods in the day), and I even write and pre-publish some blog posts like the Brain Teasers.
Then I got an idea about all the stuff I wanted to keep up on that is blasted at me from the internet. I now use a tried and true method (albeit old). I use the bookmarks. I didn’t use them very much before now. Of course, when I wanted to save something and come back to it but not as religiously as now. Now when I come across something that I think looks interesting, I put it in a “read later” folder in my bookmarks. This allows me to keep on task instead of being distracted. Then when I get to my batching time to read, I will go into that folder. A surprising thing has happened though. I throw 50% of them away once I skim a few sentences. It turns out I wasn’t that interested or it wasn’t that great of a read to waste my time on. I am assuming this has added at least 30-60 minutes to my day because I have been a lot more productive lately using the batching method.
I think I am going to continue to find ways to work batching into my schedule so that I can get a lot of tasks done in a set amount of time instead of dragging them out day to day. I anticipate this will help me further in teaching and wonder if this might not be a tactic to use in home school….like….concentrating on a math concept at many angles and only doing that until it is mastered. (As opposed to having only 45 minutes devoted to the subject and then moving on to something else) Hmmmmmm…
Have any of you tried this?