There are 132 unique Tips, Tools, and Techniques in the PEP® Program. We monitor our programs to see which of these ideas are currently percolating to the surface. The one tool that has been excitingly embraced by our recent PEP® graduates is Batching.
The great thing about Batching is that the basis of this skill is inherently part of our psyche. The concept is to do as many like things as possible at the same time.
Mastering the skill of Batching will immediately reduce interruptions, save you time, give you more control of your schedule, and improve the exchange of information with others.
Here are four ways to Batch:
1. Have a folder, either electronic or paper, for each person you interact with often. You might find that good old paper folders work best.
2. Place these “people folders” in the front of your “Working File” drawer for easy access.
3. Put anything (hand written notes or articles or correspondence you wish to discuss) not requiring time-sensitive action in the specific person’s folder. When you connect with that person for reasons of high value, check the Batch folder to see if anything is in there to discuss. Now you can discuss all issues at one time. One study we conducted indicates that batching discussions saves more than 50% of the interaction time compared to not batching.
4. If you find that you continually have issues to discuss or are always being interrupted by an individual, it’s an indicator to you to schedule brief meetings (5-10 minutes often does it), either live or by phone, as often as needed, to go over all issues at one time with that person. When people know there is a scheduled time to meet, they will feel less need to interrupt which will save you both time.