The Power of Small Batches

Adopting the process of working on small batches can significantly free up your time.

The Power of Small Batches

How do I use the power of small batches to be more productive and have more time for myself?

What are small batches?

"If you lose time doing things you should be doing, you won't have time to do stuff you want."

Working in small batches is basically grouping similar tasks together to get them done. Contrary to doing a large batch and doing things one by one, this method is far more productive freeing your time for doing things you like. I use this method to speed up stuff I need to get done so that I can focus on other important things.

I first noticed this process a few months back when looking for fitness tips on nutrition and workouts. Many of them share how they did their groceries and prepare their meal for the week. In a couple of hours, they had their meal ready stored in the fridge.

Why should you consider this approach as a creative person?

If you often find yourself thinking that 24 hours is too little time for you to do the things you like or you don’t have the time to do things you really want, this method will be life changing - even though it might initially take weeks to get used to.

How do you use this?

Thinking in getting things done - through small batches - requires a different mindset. You pause down and plan rather than rush doing everything. Take for instance, buying groceries at the nearby Supermarket. You can either buy one item at a time or for a whole year. But both approaches are counter intuitive though.

The better solution is use small batches. You keep a list of articles to buy, and whenever convenient, you get your groceries done, typically for a week or month. This approach thereby helps free your time when applied in different areas of your life such as cooking or watching clothes.

How I implement small batches as a programmer?

Code On
Photo by Blake Connally / Unsplash 

In a more technical note, as a senior full stack software developer, I break up my tasks and group them by similarity and difficulty. I focus on the most demanding ones in the morning when I have plenty of willpower and creativity. I then defer the more monotonous ones later throughout the day.

To illustrate, adding authentication to a web application:

Front End

☐ Create login password form component

☐ Add an action and value for store management

Back End

☐ Install Bcrypt library

☐ Encrypt email for authorisation

☐ Create fonction or decorator or interceptor to check for valid token


☐ Store password hash in the database

☐ Retrieve email and apply hash with user password

☐ Use salt for better security


☐ Explain the flow through a flowchart or simpler and easier approach

☐ Explain as an end user perspective

Once I’ve grouped the tasks, I work on them by importance rather than priority. For example, in this situation, the SQL part is the most important one as I need the email (or username) and password for authorisation to work.

I also try working on the most difficult aspects first - which in this context is the backend part. The frontend is straight forward, I therefore leave it for the end - or better indeed, I delegate it to a junior developer or someone else.


Thinking in doing things in small batches requires a shift in mindset. You then block time in your calendar for doing things that need to be done, such as cleaning, cooking and getting the groceries done, in order to free up your time for creative endeavors or others.

You can similarly apply this principle in your studies or profession alike.