KAIZEN CH.76 - How Task Batching Buys you Time

Thoughts on task batching, finding your niche and being a bridge

Hey friend 👋,

Welcome to the 76th edition of the Kaizen Newsletter ⛩, a weekly newsletter where I share my thoughts, new ideas I learn and make weird connections between self-improvement, productivity, product, tech, sports, anime.

Can't believe that PTYA, my YouTube course, is already done! Although I barely attended class, I still felt like it was a transformative moment because I never would have imagined being a "YouTuber" even a few months ago. And now it's becoming a reality.

I'm still working on my video for the last homework, it should be done by next week's newsletter.

(if you got referred to this page by a friend or are simply visiting you can subscribe here👇)

Now, on to the newsletter.

One of the most important realizations I got from taking Ali Abdaal's course actually has nothing to do with YouTube.

I realized how important it is to batch your tasks to improve your productivity.

So what exactly is task batching?

Let's use making a YouTube video as an example.

Making a YT video is done in three different steps:

  1. Writing the script

  2. Filming the video

  3. Editing

So if you wanted to post one YT video a week, then every week, I would dedicate a few hours to each step. Then do the same thing the week after and then the same thing the following week.

The problem with this is that you're always racing against the clock. You never have time to take a breath and once you're done, you have to go again.

Task batching solves this by grouping similar tasks together and doing them one after the other.

So instead of just writing 1 script, filming 1 video, and editing 1 video, you would write 2-3 scripts, film 2-3 videos and then edit 2-3 videos all at once.

"How is that different than doing them but on separate weeks?"

Well, the thing that most people forget to take into account is the "cost" of starting a new task.

Starting a new task requires time, energy and cognitive effort.

In the first ~10-15 min that you're starting a new task, nothing really happens. You're waiting for your brain to warm up and get into flow. And it's only after it's in flow that you feel concentrated and can get things done.

So the idea behind task batching, is that instead of always losing those ~10-15 min every week, you gain those minutes by batching similar tasks together.

The reason why task batching becomes such a time-saver when making YT videos is the filming portion.

It usually takes around ~30 min to prep my filming environment. Do some lighting check, audio check and set up the camera properly before I even press the record button. Now imagine the time I gained by saving 30 min of prep time AND 15 min because I'm reducing the task startup?

That’s the power of task batching and that’s how it can buy you back time.

🤔 Thoughts

🧠 Thoughts on Finding your Niche

I've always had a hard time finding my niche and it's only recently that I've stopped caring about niches.

The worst thing that can happen for an upcoming content creator is to not create because they haven't found a niche yet.

That's why I love this concept of being an archeologist instead of being an architect from Michael Ashcroft's video.

"I was thinking like an architect, trying to design my niche before getting started, when I should have been thinking like an archeologist, slowly uncovering my niche with every little thing I created." - Michael

Instead of forcing yourself to find a niche, you want the niche to find you by consistently taking action.

Watch Video

🎨 Thoughts on Being a Bridge

This essay by my friend Dickie was game-changing for me.

I've always thought that you needed to be an expert in your field to sell something online.

But I was reminded that on your journey, there will always be two groups of people.

There will be people that will be more experienced than you, and others that are learning from you.

And what you want is to be a bridge between these two groups of people. You want to cement yourself as the “next step” for the people that are right behind you.

This way, with a little bit of effort, you can write down your process and sell it to those following in your footsteps.

This concept is called selling your sawdust. You spend your days working, building, and iterating with your saw. But now, you can repackage and share the scraps and byproduct of your creative work - your sawdust. - Dickie

Read More

🐦 Tweets

For me, it's when you've already done a lot of progress, and you just know that achieving the goal is inevitable if you continue doing what you're doing.

Great reminder to stop admiring people and to actually take action instead.

The vibesss on this mashup are insane.

🙏 Shoutout

Shoutout to both Dickie and Salman for having amazing convos this past week. Two very different calls, but equally exciting. Dickie's call was super energizing for me. I felt PUMPED for the rest of the week. With Salman, we went deep into our writing philosophies. It was a good convo for the soul.

👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

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See ya next Tuesday,

Alexander ✌️