As a creative business owner, you wear several hats in your business. And by several, I mean about 10,000 of them. ?
Copywriter, ads manager, marketing pro, graphic designer, project manager, web designer, social media manager… the list goes on. Chances are if you’ve looked into productivity tips you’ve come across batch working. I’m here to tell you that IT WORKS. When I first read about batching I was slightly skeptical because I have three small children (read: chaos gremlins) at home who don’t allow too much structure to my day, so I wondered how batch working would realistically apply to me.
Well, I’m about to stop talking about myself and tell you how! It’s kind of a wombo combo of block scheduling and batch working. Here are my best batch working tips (especially if you’re a busy parent/caretaker.)
1.) You probably have to get up early or stay up late
This is the “duh” tip, so skip this one if you already know this. As a person with caretaking responsibilities of any sort (or a job during the day) the fact of the matter is that you probably don’t have all day to work. You’ll need to add working hours to your day by working early in the morning or late at night.
It doesn’t always need to be like this, of course (eventually you’ll be able to hire out some of these tasks, I’m sure) but in the beginning/scaling phases of your business, you’ll likely need some extra hours in your day to be able to focus and knock things off that seemingly endless to-do list.
There are only a few ways to get around this fact – one being childcare and the other being hiring a virtual assistant, another contractor, or an employee to help you get this stuff done.
Action step 1: Decide what works best for your family + life: Getting up early or staying up later.
2.) Realize that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing (Get up early or stay up late 3x per week, not every day)
So this one was a game-changer for me because I tend to be an all or nothing type of person. The problem with that mindset is that when I fall off of my routine, I feel like it’s impossible to catch up with what I’ve missed. So, if I failed to get up early on Monday or Tuesday, I used to “give up” and try again the next week
If waking up early every day of the week seems impossible to you, try this out: Schedule it in three times per week instead. For me, 3 early work sessions per week is adequate and way less overwhelming to me than 5 of them.
And you can get so much done in three good, focused work sessions per week. Try it out!
Action step 2: Decide which 3 days of the week you’ll schedule your work sessions for.
3.) Avoid switching tasks whenever you can
The magic of batch working is that you’re super productive because you get into this state of “flow” and you’re able to get tons done because you’re not wasting time by switching between different tasks. Most of us have lots of different things to do in our businesses, so this can be tricky at first. But once you get into a routine, this will significantly up your productivity.
Here’s what this can look like:
Batch working session 1: Admin tasks for the first half, bookkeeping tasks for the second half
Session 2: Social media for the first half, client work for the second half
Session 3: Client work for the first half, blogging tasks for the second half
The main idea behind this is the fact that on average, you lose 10-20 minutes of productive work time when you switch tasks. It doesn’t sound like a ton of wasted time, but it all adds up quickly especially when you’re wearing so many hats in your business and trying to get client work done on top of that.
Saving an hour or more of work time during a work session is why everyone is obsessed with batching work, especially moms/parents/caretakers who already have what seems like negative time in their days.
Action step 3: Decide what you’ll be batching during your work sessions. What tasks do you spend the most time doing? If you need to, you can add a misc. category as well – most of us have random loose ends here and there to deal with, too, so don’t worry about not being able to batch absolutely everything.
Related link: Struggling to come up with ideas for tasks you can batch? Check out this cool list of 10 ideas of batch-able tasks from The Bliss Bean (Business + personal batching task ideas included in there)
4.) Physically schedule in those work sessions and decide what you’ll be batching during them
You’re a lot more likely to follow through with your work sessions if you schedule them into your calendar. If you’re not a planner person, it might seem silly, but from my experience, this will really help you especially if you’re trying to establish a work routine.
Action step 4: Pull out your planner or open up Google Cal, Asana, or whatever you’re most likely to use and add your work sessions to your calendar. Write down the batching sessions you’ve decided on and set reminders in your phone if you need them.
To summarize, batch working can save you tons of time and everyone is obsessed with it for a good reason!
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s a whole podcast episode by Jenna Kutcher on how to use batch working in your business (this will be particularly helpful if you’re newer to the idea of batch working.)
If you can’t dedicate a full work session to one or two tasks, try setting aside an hour (or even half an hour) for one task. You can start small with batch working and slowly make it the norm in your routine. If you feel a little overwhelmed at the idea, try it out with just one task.
For example, create all your Pinterest pins or Instagram posts for the week or month (depending on how often you pin/post) in one work session. Then celebrate all the time you saved by not having to come back to that task for the rest of the week/month. ?
Got batch working tips that have worked really well for you or have any Q’s for me about how to make batch working effective in your bsuiness? Let me know in the comments!
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