Monday, December 15, 2008

Batching and Chunking

Friends ask me often, "How do you get so much done?"

To which I usually reply: "What are you talking about???"

I usually feel as if I am letting the sand-dust of time slip through my fingers day after day.

But last Friday I did a get a bit of reward for my hard work. Using various business strategies, I chunked (breaking tasks into do-able chunks) and batched (putting like tasks together in batches) my way to Task Completion.

In a 3 hr time frame I needed to:

* feed my kids a healthy dinner, prep to clean-up
* get in a good, full one hour workout at the YMCA
* do all Christmas present shopping for the kids and the kids' presents for each other


I drove the kids to a store that had only high-quality gear, a Mom & Pop shop with great taste. I gave each child a notepad and pencil so during the 7 min drive to the store, the kids all brainstormed for what they wanted for Christmas.

When we got to the store, I took one child at a time around the store, had him/her review his/her siblings' lists, picking out presents for each sibling and their dad. We dropped the presents in a basket behind the counter and presto, about 45 min later, all presents had been acquired. I purchased them, asked the staff to wrap them all, and the big boys walked the little kids across the street to Amelia's, an all-organic super cool health food diner, just like I would make at home if I had a few hours to prep the food.

While the kids were happily munching (no worries -- the big ones are more than capable of watching the little ones, probalby even more protective than I am), I ran, yes, r-a-n over the YMCA, got in a good sweaty 45 min and r-a-n back to Amelia's. We picked up our neatly wrapped gifts and headed home with everyone in their proper condition -- sweaty mama, children with happy bellies and a big ol' bag full of presents.


As the kids carried the bags into the house, I thought to myself, "You know, I could have spent weeks driving all over town to different stores agonizing over what to get for each present..."