Use the Batching Technique to Stop Running Errands All the Time
I hate running errands. I think they’re the biggest time suck in the world.
This month alone I’ve had to buy EIGHT birthday presents.
I’ve also had to order a birth certificate, notarize a document, call three different customer service numbers, write thank you cards, pay bills, submit insurance paperwork, and return library books, among my usual weekly chores.
There are a number of things that I do to minimize the time I spend on my to do list including auto bill pay, auto back-up, meal planning, and subscription/delivery services for diapers (Honest.com), clothes (LeTote) and household basics (Amazon Subscribe and Save).
I’ve also tried outsourcing tasks like airfare research or booking appointments with companies like TaskRabbit, Fiverr and Fancy Hands. Unfortunately I found myself spending more time giving instructions and feedback than I was saving, so in the end I didn’t feel it was worth the money.
Even with all of the automation and outsourcing in the world, there are still things that I need to take care of myself, which brings me to my absolute favorite errand hack of all – batching.
Batching is a time management technique that groups similar tasks together.
I set aside a specific time (Friday mornings) to do specific activities (non urgent errands) all in one go.
Things that come up during the week get added to my Friday list. And every Friday, I sit down with the list and start checking things off.
I find it easier to do errands all in one go because these kinds of tasks require the same mental resources and frame of mind to complete. And the best part is, I no longer feel like my life is a traffic jam of never-ending to do’s.
My errands get scheduled, completed, and then I can stop thinking about them.