Batching

April 18, 2022

I listened to a podcast today where the hosts were talking about how they batch creating podcasts and videos. They sit down every Monday morning and record at least two episodes of the podcast for the week, and over the summers they record enough in advance to be over a month ahead.

There’s probably benefits to doing things in batches, and I don’t really do that.

I usually work on a bit of everything each day — I study a bit of Chinese, do a bit of each assignment I have, write one blog post. I wonder whether things would be easier if I, for example, wrote a bunch of blog posts in one sitting instead.

Because I can feel my brain getting more into the blog-post-writing groove once I’ve started writing one. The ideas seem to flow more easily, and ideas branch off of the one idea I’m writing. I could probably write a second one more easily after writing the first.

But instead, at the end of writing one blog post I just stop. I have to get myself back into that context the next day all over again.

Same with large school assignments — I find that it’s much easier for me to finish a CS assignment in a couple long work sessions where I sit and work for four hours, instead of breaking it up and context-switching in and out of it. But I usually get sucked into CS assignments naturally, so the long work sessions happen on their own.

Perhaps I should rearrange my work so I do it more in batches. Daily Chinese flashcards are an exception — I think that for memorization, it’s more effective to do a small amount of work consistently over a long time.

But I could batch all my Chinese worksheets for the each unit on the same day, instead of doing a bit after every class. And I could sit down once every couple days and write through a couple blog post ideas, instead of needing to switch contexts so often.