“Multitasking” is perhaps the most misunderstood word in professional settings. Many people hear the term, and their mind jumps to an image of somebody juggling four tasks at once. But if this was actually how we went about our jobs, especially as administrative assistants, we would get nothing done.
When your attention is divided between several tasks at once, your performance suffers in every area. What multitasking really refers to is the ability to balance multiple tasks within a certain timeframe. Many administrative professionals have developed their own effective task management strategies out of necessity.
One of the most widely used strategies is task batching. In fact, there is a good chance you already use tasking batching, whether you are aware of it or not. Understanding what task batching is, and why it is useful, can help improve your productivity even more.
What is Task Batching?
Task batching is a productivity strategy that involves grouping multiple similar tasks together during a set block of time. For instance, you might set aside a certain part of your day to respond to all your emails. Then, you might follow that up with a block for reviewing schedules and project management, and so on.
Task batching is extremely useful for improving our productivity and concentration over the course of a day. Want to learn more and get better at tasking batching? One way to accomplish this is through technology.
Technology has increased the diversity of tasks that many administrative professionals face each day. But, thankfully, it has also increased the ways we can manage our tasks. There are many great productivity apps available to help keep your work life organized.
Todoist is the go-to “To Do List” app for both professional and personal use. Todoist is highly detailed, with an easy-to-use interface, and compatibility across all major platforms. Todoist allows users to add tasks to their list, group tasks, or organize them however they need. It’s the preferred productivity app for many workers because it is flexible without being complicated or overwhelming.
Microsoft To Do is another widely used productivity app for administrative professionals. This app has the noteworthy advantage of being a Microsoft product.
Microsoft To Do easily integrates with the rest of Microsoft’s professional software, including Word, Outlook, and OneNote. Users who already have a Microsoft account should have no trouble integrating and adapting to Microsoft To Do.
Even with productivity apps, we still need to implement personal strategies like task batching to improve labor productivity. Keeping our concentration up over long periods of time can be difficult and draining. This is why task batching is such a successful productivity strategy.
Task batching works because it keeps us from becoming distracted or overwhelmed by multitasking. As mentioned above, our performance suffers when our concentration is split between multiple tasks. But, when we batch tasks based on similarities, we can focus on one type of task at a time. This enables us to compartmentalize, keeping each individual task separate as we move through the workday.
With tasking batching, improved productivity also comes along with reduced stress. This leaves you with more time and energy to focus on other areas of your career and professional development.
Task batching is just one of many useful productivity tips you can apply to your own life and career. If you want to learn more, consider becoming an ASAP member.
ASAP provides training and resources to help administrative professionals learn new skills and advance their careers. This includes webinars, such as Quick Strategies for Boosting Focus and Concentration, networking opportunities, and help with PACE certification.