Productivity – Batching Tasks

The idea of “batching” tasks to streamline your workflow isn’t new, but I thought I’d share a couple of very quick examples of how I actually use this.

These are related to finances, but aren’t TOO personal.

Batching isn’t something that needs to be applied perfectionistically – you can batch any components of a task rather than every component, and do it when you want to and not do it when you don’t want to. It’s your life – so you can design any systems you want and break your own rules whenever you want.

Here’s some batching that I do:

– Pre-filling out the fast deposit bags that I use to deposit business income at the bank. I fill out around 30 of these at a time. I fill out the account number on all 30, then the account name of all 30 etc. Batching within batching!

– I have 11 different payments I have to make to the tax department each year between business and personal. My bank allows me to pre-load all these payments. I preload the payments for whichever payments I already know the amount for, and set dates for 5 business days before the tax is due.
Preloading multiple payments once I am already in the bank’s web interface and have all my tax info on hand, only takes a few seconds longer than preloading a single payment.

The tax dates are the same each year, so I have Google Calendar events set up to “recur annually” for the days the money will be leaving my account. I have to remember to make sure enough money is in the correct accounts so I have Google calendar reminders set up. Seven days before the money will leave my account I get an email and an SMS, and again two days before the money will leave my account. These reminders carry over to the next year and can be set up in a couple of seconds. Just click on your event in GCal to edit it and you’ll get a nice drop down of options for when and how you want the reminders.

– I create folders on my computer for expenses and create 12 monthly folders at the beginning of the tax year, so when companies send me electronic invoices for supplies, I just shoot them into the folder for that month.