When I worked with Aon Hewitt, I had a team led by Amit Gautam that did “batch processing”. While I understood the work they did, I couldn’t use the concept in my daily life till more recently. For the past three to four months, I have been doing batch processing for replenishing the groceries. Earlier I would simply wait till something got emptied and then order it on Milk Basket or Big Basket or Amazon or just walk down to a store and buy it. Then I realised that managing the grocery inventory this way was taking up too much time because I was ordering something almost every other day !
A few months back I decided to review my groceries stock every Saturday or Sunday. Batched the purchase and I saved big on time ! I know that I am about to run out of something and am able to get enough of that item on Monday, so that by the time Saturday comes around, I can refill. On Saturdays I also make sure that I have got my OPOS staples stocked – cooked dal, Ginger-garlic paste, tamarind paste etc. I also re-stock my spice powders every Saturday depending on how much has been used.
The batch processing of groceries and other kitchen staples helps in being prepared for a week. I also created a food plan for a whole month because often we make the same things everyday and don’t have a lot of variety in food. Because of the food plan we realised that we have nearly 30 breakfast options and numerous lunch options.
If you are wondering why I need to do all this, its because am not particularly fond of cooking. At the same time I don’t want to eat out everyday and if I let Amma run the kitchen, we will only get Idli, Dosai and Paruppu Sambar all year round :):). These are hacks to save time and the best hack of course is to learn OPOS (One Pot One Shot) cooking. I have always been very quick in the kitchen but had a limited repertoire. Now I cook a huge variety, courtesy OPOS, which works well for us.
How do you apply the batch processing concept at work ? Maybe process emails at designated time slots rather than spending the whole day responding to emails ! Keep designated days for your 1:1 conversations. That brings regularity and also helps in managing your calendar better. Think of repetitive chores that you do everyday and see if you can batch them and handle it at one time. It truly frees up a lot of time because you aren’t doing things piecemeal.
Wondering if we can batch our thoughts too :):).