Different Brain Styles: Juggler or Batcher?

When you have an urgent project, a deadline and a block of time, is it easier to get things done? How about if you have  a bunch of tasks that need to be done sometime this month, with the instructions to do a little bit each day? Forget about it!

We all have different ways that we approach tasks. Some people don’t mind interruptions, they can switch between tasks and projects, do a little bit here and there I call them “Jugglers.” Others need deadlines and blocks of time to get things done – the “Batchers.” 

Are you a Batcher ?

As a Batcher

  • Switching tasks can feel like you are stuck in mud and if you don’t stay the course you’ll sink. It feels good to be deep in a project, to be in the groove, without distractions.
  • It takes a lot of mental energy to get started, but once you get moving you are good.
  • Too much information or too many choices may send you down rabbit holes.
  • A good deadline gets you focused, however, anything else is forgotten.

How to manage life as a Batcher

  • To get started, set aside blocks of time to focus, notice deadlines and plan your work around them. 
  • Before you get started, schedule breaks and set timers to come up for air periodically to make sure you are working on your intended task. 
  • Have a place to “park” your thoughts as they come up so you are not tempted to distraction.
  • Have water and a healthy snack on hand. 

When we try to keep a lot of balls in the air, rather than use our preferred style of focusing on one thing at a time, stress levels go up and our productivity goes down. I imagine the opposite is true for jugglers, who may find that doing one thing at a time is tedious.  

Paying attention to the present moment and planning for the future goes a long way toward helping us manage tasks, time, energy, and attention.

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