I’m sure you’ve heard the word “batch” before – although maybe not related to freelancing or blogging. If you’re something like me, and you like cooking but don’t want to spend every day in the kitchen, batch-cooking is either something that you already practice or that you’d like to try. And if you haven’t heard at all about it before, it’s just all about taking a day to cook the hell out of you, prep the meals for the freezer and forget about cooking during the whole week – or month!
Anyway, as we don’t want to talk about cooking here, let’s see what all the fuzz on batching & productivity is all about! As with the huge meal prep in a sitting, when you work in batches, you’re just dedicating a specific amount of time to either one single task or to similar tasks.
So, instead of checking your emails here, researching on the Internet there, and trying to get a project done at the same time, batching means focusing on one thing at a time. What for? Well, studies have shown that our productivity decreases by 40% when we try to multitask – or when we just switch from one task to the other.
A perfect example would be content creation. Have you ever tried to write an article, a book chapter, or just an email when you’re constantly being interrupted? Something that could take you about 30 minutes can become a whole-day task if you don’t get to focus on your train of thought!
Choose the type of batching that best suits your personality
So now that you know what is meant with batching, and why it can affect your productivity, let’s see different types of batching. Which one is better for you depends both on how you like to work, and how huge the tasks you want to accomplish are.
- Blocks of time. Working with blocks of time is similar to a school timetable! You just have to block a couple of hours for each subject and, when the bell rings, you switch tasks after a brief pause. Easy peasy!
- You could say, for example, that you’re going to dedicate the first two hours of each day to creating content, or you may want to check your social media one hour each afternoon.
- You may prefer to dedicate the whole morning to one task. You choose! Just make sure that you block your time slots on your calendar.
- This also works wonders with fitness, by the way!! Writing down that you’re going to train will let you no excuses any more 😉
- Theme days. As you can imagine, theme days are days where you only work on one single task. This makes especially sense when:
- You have very little time to dedicate daily to your business, and you’d like to maximize your working hours.
- The task you’d like to accomplish is huge, so you’d prefer to dedicate it a whole day – and get over with it! As an example, you could dedicate Mondays to your week planning, Tuesdays to content creation, Wednesdays to social media, and so on 😉
- Theme weeks. Is it getting too much batching for you? Bear with me for a couple of minutes yet 🙂 Theme weeks are perfect for me when I’m on the process of creating a new product.
So let’s say that you’d like to create an online course, for example. What do you think would be more effective? Working during a week non-stop on the actual course content, or rather trying to find some time each day to get it done…? Don’t you think that this last option would be the perfect mix to never ever get it done on time?
So this is how it works for me:
- Week #1 – Content creation for the whole month.
- Week #2 – Social media scheduling for the whole month.
- Week #3 + #4 – Course content creation!
This is something that you can do once or twice a year, or you could work like that the whole year around! Of course there are going to come days where you’ll need to take care of other stuff, but the only thing you have to do is block some time for that stuff, too! And that takes us to other baching options:
Other batching options – Combining different batching types
Batching is as flexible as you need it. So if you feel comfortable with batching just one specific task, do it! Or if you need to block one entire day a week to let your creative juices flowing, go ahead! It’s your time, and in the end, you’ll have to figure out what works best for you and your business!
So let’s say that you create a cooking tutorial video every week – Yep, I am hungry, that’s why I’m using so many cooking examples today 😀 Let’s say that you need a week every single month to create your tutorial. So you are going to be mixing a theme week (your “tutorial week”) with theme days, for instance:
- Monday – Receipt planning, prep, and ingredients shopping
- Tuesday – Cooking & video recording
- Wednesday – Video postediting
- Thursday – Blog post and newsletter about your receipt
- Friday – Social media scheduling and commenting
This is just an example, but it gives you an idea of how to combine different types of batching. You could even batch your cooking on Tuesdays so that you prepare and record meals for the whole month. The next tasks would then take longer, so you’d just need to adapt your schedule!
Another example: You may want to write a whole book within a month (yep, that’s doable!). So your batching wouldn’t only mean that you’d be writing non-stop during a month, but also that you’ve batched all other tasks in a way that you don’t need to go over them during your book-writing month!
This kind of batching is a bit tricky ’cause it’s unimaginable to think that you won’t have to dedicate any time to other tasks, but there’s a small turnaround for that:
- Make a list with those tasks that need to be checked or updated. Block time for them in your calendar.
- For instance, emails need to be checked every day, so set a time to check them twice a day – and answer only the really important emails. In the meantime, close the email app!!
- You could even set an automatic “out-of-office” message, and let everyone know that you’re “on holidays.”
- Automation is your best buddy! Is there anything that could happen automatically? Like scheduling your Insta posts on Planoly, or like writing your weekly newsletter in advance for it to be sent once a week with ConvertKit? Then you know what you gotta do 😉
How to batch when you don’t want to miss a thing
Are you the kind of person who needs to get those things immediately done that come through your mind? Well, my friend, I hope that you agree with me now that that isn’t helping your productivity at all…
But here’s a very simple trick that you could do: Have a Trello board – or a physical planner on your desk – open, and write down every single idea that comes to your mind. In this way, you won’t have to be afraid to forget it, and you won’t be switching tasks continuously!
Just make sure to block some time at the end of the day or week to take care of that new to-do list you created, and you’ll be all set up!
Check out this blog post on automation, and learn how to run your business on autopilot – and enjoy your free time.
Do you have any other questions related to time management and batching? Do you use batching differently? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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