Darren Rowse has posted a really interesting post titled “How Batch Processing Made Me 10 Times More Productive“. This stuff is right up my alley as I slowly develop and improve my own productivity processes. My core system at the moment is a work-in-progress GTD implementation using OmniFocus as my focal point. The more I read Getting Things Done the more I realise how much work I still have to do, hence why it is a work in progress.
The idea of batch processing appeals to me. It seems like it would fit quite nicely with a GTD implementation (at least the way I understand it). So what is batch processing? Here is Darren’s explanation:
In my understanding of the term ‘batch processing’ it was always used to describe systems (usually computerized ones) where data was collected together for a period of time before it was processed. Instead of doing every small ‘job’ as it arrived jobs were ‘queued’ or collected until the computer was ready to process them all at once. This meant that the computer could do these ‘batches’ of jobs all at once when it would otherwise be idle.
It makes sense to deal wit tasks in a more organised fashion. Trying to deal with the incoming flow of information as and when it comes in and doing that effectively is really difficult. I certainly can’t do it. At least if I grouped my tasks together and work on them at the same time (with further granularity in the form of next actions) I am more likely to be more productive.
Reading Darren’s post I do wonder if too much structure in a day wouldn’t be overcomplicating the process though. Either way, the basic idea is a powerful one.
I still feel like I am missing something big when it comes to contexts in GTD. I don’t think I understand what contexts really are and how to use them more effectively.