31 Days of Finishing – Day 3: Batch Tasks To Get More Done on Your To-Do List

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Day 3 – Getting the car oil changed is as disagreeable (to me) as picking up foul trash.

Do you mind getting the oil changed on your car? I don’t like it! It rates up there with going to the dentist and cleaning out the garage. It is done frequently (especially when compared to going to the dentist or cleaning out the garage), so it’s always on my to-do list. I always have a low-level dread in my unconscious mind regarding oil changes.

Why dread this seemingly innocuous task? Because it is not JUST getting the oil changed – there are always tons of questions asked. And do I really NEED to do these things? I don’t KNOW.

  • Would you like to help your car by getting the super performance oil?
  • Get your tires rotated?
  • Overhaul your spark plugs?
  • Add fluid to your battery?
  • Change the air filter?
  • Flush out your exhaust system?
  • Steam clean your engine?
  • Repair the chips in your windshield?
  • Etc! Etc! Etc!

Okay, some of the questions I made up, but that’s because some of the questions they ask I never fully understand. And I know they did ask me something about the spark plugs, battery, and exhaust system.

Because I normally say, “No,” I feel like a bad car mommy. I don’t like feeling bad.  And I don’t like feeling stupid. 😦

I was feeling so full of dread today that I was going to drop off my (adult) daughter with the car at the oil place so she could answer all the questions (“No, thank you”). Yes, this is the daughter who is recuperating from a concussion. Pretty lame, eh?

Then I had a thought. Since I also needed to get my tires rotated (sometime this month), I decided to do both these tasks today. I might as well as get both these unpleasant (to me) tasks done in the same afternoon. Efficiency experts call that batching. It is where you batch or group similar tasks and do them during the same time frame.

I talked to the tire guy about hub cabs (another item I batched). I need 14 inch ones. They can order them for me at the price I was going to pay on Amazon. AND the best part, they will put them on for free!!!

For the oil change, I did end up buying the oil for older cars – I only have so many “No’s” in me. Plus I can relate to needing extra care because of being older. For the other 2 things which were not urgent (gasket and value cover),  I took notes and will ask someone about these.

Moral of the story? Group unpleasant but similar tasks and do them during the same time frame. I needed to gather extra energy to get the oil changed and it only took a little extra energy and time to get the tires rotated. And no energy was needed to ask about hub caps because I already knew what I wanted. Expending this little bit of energy and time helped me scratch off these completed to-do’s and get them off my mind as well.

I feel such relief NOW. And I am proud I didn’t succumb to using my hurt (but mending nicely) daughter to do my unpleasant task.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • What ongoing to-do tasks do you dread doing? How do you get yourself to DO them on a regular basis?
  • How did you use your 31 minutes today?
  • Do you ever batch items? If yes, any tips?

Related Posts . . . 


Entry filed under: 31 Days of Writing. Tags: , .

31 Days of Finishing – Day 2: Buying Hubcaps Without Driving Yourself Crazy 31 Days of Finishing – Day 4: If the Answer Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Feel Compelled to Complete It

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janeen  |  . at .

    The distasteful thing is something I do every day. I hate the sitting down to write every day. But I do it. This goes along with an awesome quote I saw yesterday. I find it difficult to sit down every day to write, yet I love the feeling after I write.


  • 2. susan2009  |  . at .

    Janeen, I love the feeling when I am done with writing and with my dreaded tasks too. That is something I try to remind myself, the feeling when done. Usually when I start, I even enjoy the process as long as I have allowed myself enough time to get it done.

    Thanks for visiting my site. And good luck with your 31 Days of Writing project. I hope you are able to get the writing habit firmly settled during this month.



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