Episode 31: Productivity Myth Busters: When Task Batching Isn’t Better

Productivity Myth Busters: When Task Batching Isn't Better

Hey and welcome to Episode 31 of Just One Simple Thing, where we are in the middle of the Productivity Myth Busters series. We are looking at common productivity advice that might not be working for us … and reframing it so that we are creating spacious places in our lives and working within our boundaries. In the last episode, we challenged the myth that you need three priorities to work on every week or every day. And in this episode, we take on task batching. Is that really best for everyone? Listen in to find out.


One of the most common things we hear from the experts is that batching our tasks is the most efficient way to work. If you are familiar with this term, it is usually described as working on like tasks in one sitting.

There is also a Biblical example of batching, in the creation story. God did a specific task on each day, and did it until it was complete and he could call it good. He did them in a specific order that made sense … he didn’t create animals before he created land for them to live on.

I know many people swear by traditional batching and it is a key part of their time management strategy. And I tried it. Sooooo many times. But it just did not work for me. I could not get the hang of batching.

In the last year, I’ve started batching in a different way and it’s finally working for me. Instead of batching by TASK, I’ve started batching first by TOPIC and then by TIMING.

The point is that just because something works for “everybody” doesn’t mean you have to force it to work for you. There’s nothing wrong with you because you can’t make it work! On the flip side, if it doesn’t work for you, you don’t need to throw it out completely. Find the key concept behind it and adjust it in ways that suit your style.

If you’ve failed at batching before, pick just one aspect of it and try it again. Can you find a way to get the benefits in your own way? If you are a batching pro, think of some other common productivity advice that hasn’t worked for you and how to make the best parts work for you. Share your story on social media using the hashtag #justonesimplething and tag me @doanewthing. Your story may give someone else an idea that expands their capacity into spacious places and pleasant boundaries. Let’s learn from each other.

I hope these Productivity Myth busters are giving you a new way to look at your time. In the next episode, we are going to talk about planners … because everybody knows that digital planners are a lot more effective, right? Or maybe, it’s paper planners that are better? I don’t know … we’ll figure it out next time. Be sure to follow the podcast where ever you listen so you don’t miss it!

My friend Susan wrote a guest blog post for me about the way she has adapted batching to work for her. You can read it here.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Things Done by Kendra Adachi

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