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Productivity hacks weekly in bite-size chunks. Just up your alley if you're at least slightly geeky or a tad bit obsessed with Evernote or WorkFlowy!

Throwback Thursday: batching tasks

Frank Degenaar

Throwback Thursdays

I've been holding back on you guys. A great part of this blog's focus was originally to give you "hacks in easily-digestible, bite-size chunks". My posts have been anything but "bite-size". All of 12 posts in, I've figured out how I'm going to do this. I'm jumping on the Throwback Thursday bandwagon and bringing you some productivity tidbits along with some geeky references to things of yesteryear. Most of these "hacks" are plain-and-simple common sense, no matter what system you stick to. You've no doubt heard of them before... that's why we're mostly going to rehash them and kick the topic around a little.

Batching tasks... and marshmallows 

To kick things off, here's a strip from July 20th, 1982: 

Basically, batching tasks (and marshmallows) makes sense, especially when you're short on time... or if you're into killing two birds with one stone. It makes total sense to try and group like tasks together. GTD calls these "Contexts". Most of us have a couple of contexts we show up at:

Supermarket | Laptop | Internet connection | Office | Phone



I often "show up" at my hammock - strung up in my classroom - at home (I'm a private English teacher in Brazil). I might read a book with my daughter nestled in there with me. I might read some articles I've saved to Pocket, respond to some blog post comments, etc. I like to set aside time in my hammock for any bundle (batch) of tasks. I knock them off one by one. The reading with my daughter bit is just a pleasure. She usually requires me to read three books: one in English, another in Spanish and a third in Portuguese. She gets her mileage out of me... and I think she's learned to batch her tasks too!

No matter what app you use (or not), there is always some way to group tasks together. Either in notebooks, stages, outlines, etc... or by @context tags in tandem with a search feature. I use @hammock a lot. It just feels right.

Please, be my guest and add to the topic in the comment section below.