When Batching Goes Wrong

October 19, 2007

Since the inception of The Lifestyle Maverick early last month, one topic that I have tried to focus on conveying with readers is that of simplifying life. There are many ways and routes in doing this and if you are new to the blog here you are welcome to search back in some of the lifestyle design posts to see a small collection of methods that can be implemented.

One such method, which many of you may be familiar with, is that of ‘batching’. For the sake of all of those of you who may be familiar with this word, I will save the long definition and inform those of you who may not know of batching as this…

BATCHING – In short, a method used to simplify life by grouping together tasks over a remedial period of time to save both time and energy.

Methods of this that we all are probably more than aware of are batching your emails to check only once every day, perhaps once every week. Batching your bills so that you pay them once every week or once every two weeks. The list goes one……and hopefully you know how it operates……..


With that said, let me do the opposite of what you may be expecting and suggest certain tasks that SHOULD NOT BE BATCHED!!! Brace yourself, as you would think that one would have enough common sense to not use batching in such a moronic sense as the several items I am about to mention. But sadly enough, these instances(and I can vouch for this) have either happened or there are individuals who have pondered these.

1) Bills(Long Term) – It is great and a very practiced exercise to batch ones bills. I do this and find myself, if not first doing a simple bank draft, paying a collection of bills once every 2-3 weeks. I have found myself having to pay only one late fee due to this method, and it was for a total of $12.73……not exactly a killer. The time I have saved doing this has been invaluable.
However, batching your bills into quarterly periods is not that hot of an idea. I recently read a thread on a popular message board in which some poor bloat was bragging about how he batched his bills and payed them every 2-3 months. NOT A GOOD IDEA. He did not realize that if there are a lot of 30-60-90 day late payments that show up on your credit history it can ruin you.

So to emphasize, paying bills once every couple of months = BAD.

2 ) Diapers — Once a father made the joke about batching his child’s diapers to me . Sad thing is I imagine that there may be several parents out there who have actually thought of this. Change your child’s diapers after every poo, don’t wait for 3 or 4 to build up before changing them. It should make perfect sense as to the reasoning, not to mention that your child would kill you once they reached adulthood for the fact that you are the one to blame for that permanent brown stain on his butt .

3) Car Maintenance – Take your vehicle to the mechanic whenever a problem arises. DO NOT think it a good idea to wait for 2 or 3 more to arise before you do the same. Odds are are that the preceding problems were more than likely caused by the original and will kill your wallet in the end.

“My engine sounds horrible, and the bottom of my car is leaking stinky green stuff. But you know, its only 3 more weeks until my next oil change. Maybe I can hold off until then to get it checked.” ……………………………………..Simply not a good idea.

4) Medications – There is actually a proper way to do this and a moronic way to do this. People sometimes wait until a certain point in the day to take all their medications for that day, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when someone decides to not take their medication(s) for a certain number of days and then batches all the past days worth in one day.

Kind of like if an individual instead of taking 2 Tylenol once per day for 3 days decided to instead batch them and take 6 Tylenol all at once every 3 days. This would hold the power to kill the individual depending on the medicine and dosage amounts. Reason enough that this is not a smart move.

5) You Name It — What do you think should not be batched? Have your say and let me know of any other task that was never meant to be grouped. Going to the bathroom? Personal hygiene issues? What is #5 on the short list of “Batching Gone Wrong”? Use your imagination and let yourself be known.

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Pic provided by Chubby Bat