You’re a successful entrepreneur, so you probably know all about batching your work tasks. I’m probably preaching to the choir here.
When was the last time you examined your batch working techniques? Have you implemented any new tricks lately? Have you taken on any new tasks that are still running around on their own without being batched together?
I love batching my work, but I find that I need to reevaluate my batching technique regularly to continue being productive. I’ll periodically look over the tasks I lump together, the schedule I follow to batch things, and where my new tasks need to go in my batching game plan.
Your business is growing and evolving, and so are you! Make sure that your productivity tricks grow along with you.
Here are some tips to up your batching game
Plan your batching well in advance
Plan your batching in advance, make a game plan, etc.
Sometimes, we try to jump on the batching wagon and schedule a couple hours on a certain day to say, write some guest post articles. Then when that block of time rolls around, you sit and stare at a blank computer screen for half a session.
I find it helps to plan WHAT I'm going to work on for each batching session to eliminate a lot of hemming and hawing and indecision.
Start by scheduling a time to plan out your month.
Try planning your work a month or so in advance if you can. Plan your blog topics, then schedule when you’ll write them. Plan your project goals for the month, then schedule when you’ll work on that project and what you’ll do during each session.
Now, I know stuff tends to pop up at the last minute, which is why I like to schedule some open time for catch up. This is when I take care of those sneaky tasks that crop up at the last minute, or to handle any overflow. If I’m all caught up by that point and don’t have any catchup to do, I’ve already planned potential projects to work on during that time to get ahead.
Or you could, you know, take that time off and go to the pool or something.
Try themed days
Theming your days, or grouping similar tasks on the same days every week, is a great way to train your brain to focus. It also ensures that things will get done. After all, you’ve already assigned a day to those tasks!
Example: Managing/meeting Mondays, Big Project Tuesdays, Writing Wednesdays, Networking Thursdays, Catch up Fridays.
Theme days are also a lot of fun!
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Tasks you can batch
This is one that a lot of business owners try to tackle, but it ends up creeping over the boundaries.
One big way to reduce this headache is to create canned responses, outsource the task, or both! Then, set a time once or twice a day when you’ll go through your emails, and turn off your notifications the rest of the day. If this makes you nervous, let clients and team members know what your new response time is.
This one is a personal preference. I like to schedule meetings on certain days and then take some days just to work on other things with minimal interruptions. If this works well for you, try reducing the days or hours you’re available for client or team meetings. Imagine knocking out a week’s worth of meetings in a day or two so you can take the rest of the week to actually work on stuff!
Typically, I do team meetings on Mondays, prospects on Tuesday, clients on Tuesday/Thursday. This has worked for a while now with the exception tossed in now and again depending on what’s going on in my business.
Plan your marketing stuff for the month, then figure out A) what you will outsource and B) what you will do yourself. Schedule a time to do your own tasks each week, or pick a day or two to get them all done at once!
What do you need to learn or research this month? List it out and schedule a time.
Social media and photography
If you manage your own social media account or if you have a business where you need to take a lot of your own photographs, pic a time each week to batch them. I know business owners with thriving Instagram accounts who do a little mini photoshoot each week so their actual time on social media is minimized. (And we all know what a time suck social media can be!)
Cooking, for example.
Okay, I know this isn’t really a business task, but it’s something you probably do fairly often and it can take a lot of time! I recently got an Instant Pot, and it’s a freaking lifesaver. Sometimes I love to make a few meals at a time, which saves me loads of time during the week that I can spend doing something useful or enjoyable instead of cooking dinner.
You can also batch things like personal errands and chores so you can leave the rest of your week free for your business!
Take a look at anything you've added to your plate recently that isn’t really integrated with the rest of your schedule. Have you taken on any new projects? Have you started any new marketing ventures?
Look at the rest of the tasks you’re already batching and ask yourself how your new tasks could fit in.
Batching is one of the oldest and most useful productivity tricks in the book, but make sure you’re regularly evaluating your strategy! Your business is always growing and evolving, so your batching approach should grow and evolve right along with it.
Need help getting a handle on your business tasks and projects? Let’s talk!