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Why you should bake your cookies together

Published 12 months ago • 2 min read

Hey everyone 👋🏾

Batching tasks is one of the easiest and most effective productivity improvements that I can think of.

If you’re not familiar, it’s doing tasks of a similar type together. A simple way to understand it is that if you were baking some cookies 🍪, you wouldn’t make the dough for one single cookie, put it on the tray alone, bake it and repeat. Instead, you (hopefully) make a batch of cookie dough and bake a bunch of cookies together, making the process much faster.

Despite its efficiency, many people don’t apply batching much to their day to day lives.

Almost everything that we can do can be batched to be more productive.

One of the best ways is to batch reply to messages and emails. Instead of replying to my messages throughout the day, I like to schedule a few 15-30 minute blocks throughout the day to reply to my messages.

I find this has multiple benefits.

First, my attention throughout the day is well maintained on the task that I want to complete. I don’t get distracted looking, or even thinking, about things that seem urgent but could probably wait a few hours.

Secondly, I end up freeing time between tasks that I would otherwise waste. I used to check my messages once I finished one block of studying, but now I try to move straight onto the next, maintaining my focus and concentration. If I do use my phone in between blocks of study, I end up doing things that are way more productive, like a few Anki cards.

Finally, when I eventually reply to my messages, I’m better able to concentrate and reply to them with my full attention. If there are things that I need to action, I can do them straightaway or schedule them later.

There are many ways to apply batching. When I feel like watching a YouTube video, I’ll add it to my ‘watch later’ playlist so I can watch it at a later time. Often, I realise that I didn’t really want to watch the video that badly anyway, and I end up watching something higher quality instead.

I try to batch a lot of things I do:

  • Medical conditions - Studying these in batches allows me to find relationships and similarities between conditions that give me a wholistic knowledge structure.
  • Procedural skills - Doing procedural skills (taking bloods, checking vital signs) in batches allows me to capitalise on the generosity of nice nurses, and helps me get many things done at once.
  • Filming videos - Setting up my camera equipment takes around 30 minutes, so filming 3-4 videos together saves around 1-1.5 hours if I was to set up my camera equipment each time.
  • Writing Newsletters - Writing in batches allows me to maximise my creativity and ensures that my ideas are different between newsletters.

I’m always trying to find ways to batch the tasks that I’m doing, because it really helps to make processes higher quality and more efficient.

Try giving it a go in your own life!

- Emil

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