Use Batching to save time (and sanity) and shave hours off your workweek by batching tasks
Time is money, right? As a working mom of young children, time is quite literally money since I’m paying for daycare. I need to make the hours that I put in at the computer the most productive they can be. Not only am I usually at a crunch for time after the flurry of morning activity to get kids off to school and daycare, but I’m usually in a flurry of multitasking.
On a disorganized and unintentional day, that can look like checking email, responding to Instagram comments/notifications, or… wait, a Facebook notification, oh look at the time, we’ve got to get to school!
Multitasking often means trying and failing to do multiple things at once. Or doing them poorly.
When my attention is pulled away on something like a digital notifications, it provides my attention the opportunity to get sucked into the wormhole and lose minutes (or more…) of time. I not only lose the 15 minutes of swirling stupidity, but also have to redirect my attention to the original task and refocus, “What was I doing again?”.
Become a Workflow Warrior
When you don’t have a game plan, you can get stuck in a reactive loop that results in procrastination, overwhelm, stress and a general state of suckage. Deciding to batch the tasks that you can batch will free up energy for creativity, focus and new ideas rather than living in a state of constantly reacting.
The following tips will help create white space (mental stretching room) throughout your day. This will help you find focus and clarity, and will also save your sanity.
- Close down your email when you’re intensively writing blog posts or articles. Don’t open it back up until you’ve completed the task at hand.
- Put your phone in airplane mode. I actually put it in the other room to charge when I’m in hyper-focus mode.
- Intentionally carve out blocks of time on certain days of the week. Do you do your best writing in the morning? Then that’s your writing zone.
Batch work – It’s not your basic b-atch.
Need some ideas to get your Batch Workflow locked and loaded?
Batch workflows are the opposite of multitasking. It’s going deep with one task and completing similar ones at the same time. Like cooking one big meal that will last a couple of days or making all your sales calls to one morning. I’ve learned that it’s simply a smart tactic to batch as many tasks as possible. You could split up your tasks however makes sense for you. Some tasks will need to be done daily, some only once a week.
This may mean:
- Creating 10 graphics in one sitting instead of just one graphic.
- Creating and using a template to create Pinterest graphics.
- Drafting out three to five blog posts instead of just one.
- Setting aside an entire day for blogging. Or you can draft as many as possible posts in 1-2 hours. After that, your mind might be tapped and you’ll want to switch to a more fun, less intense activity.
- Setting aside a time block for research.
Instagram and/or Social Media
- Sundays – plan visual content for the week. (I also post completely spontaneously and may or may not stick to my plan. But it frees up mental space having it organized and stored in a Dropbox folder.)
- Batching researching quotes/lyrics and putting them into a notes document
- 2-3 times a day, respond to comments on my posts, comment on other posts and like photos
- Sunday or Monday. Use BoardBooster (affiliate) to manage pin scheduling for the week on Pinterest.
- Batching sourcing images, editing images (optimizing for web use)
- Researching articles
- Graphics – I get in a graphics mode and like to do sets at at one time.
- Drafting out blog post names and topics in a note app. I may do this on paper first but then I transfer everything electronically so it’s accessible on both my phone and laptop
Just kidding. Batch parenting doesn’t work; I’ve tried. Batch errands and batch cooking DO work however, so at least there’s that. Unfortunately, batch sleep also doesn’t work. But we can keep trying every weekend…
Batch tasking your work will free up your mind and time to play and do more meaningful activities when you are with your family.
So go forth and batch! Do you have a batch workflow? What are you doing that is working great?
- How to Use Batching to Become More Productive
- The Pomodoro Technique
- How Batch Processing Made me 10x More Productive