How Batch Working Changed my Life
If you're like me you have a to-do list that is about a mile long. When you are an entrepreneur, a creative girl boss and/or a small business owner the work never stops. I used to dread my days because I knew that I had so many tasks to complete and I would be lucky if I was able to accomplish one or two things at best.
I knew that having a successful business requires consistency but I was falling short on delivering consistent social media posts, consistent blog posts and consistent podcasts. I knew there had to be a better way. Then I heard a successful entrepreneur mention batching. She's also a podcaster and said that she pre-records her podcasts and can do up to six in one day. That means that she now has six weeks of scheduled podcasts that will be released on time.
The idea of batching sounded appealing. I'm a pretty good worker when I can put my head down and I have a specific goal to accomplish. The problem was that I didn't have goals set and on paper. I was just putting out fires everyday. Replying to every e-mail as it arrived and just doing what I thought needed to be done in the moment or what I "felt like" doing. When I would have 6 weeks between my podcast releases I recognized that my way of doing things wasn't exactly the BEST way.
That's when I finally got down to business and started "batch working". So, what does that mean? I turned to Pinterest to find help articles from other small business owners who already make batching a part of their process. I found this awesome article from Nesha Wollery here:http://neshawoolery.com/blog/how-to-set-up-your-own-weekly-batch-days
This got me started on the right track. Here's the thing, no two businesses are alike - which means you have to first decide on what tasks would be beneficial for you to batch. What are your current goals and what action steps do you need to take to achieve those goals?
I decided that I had 4 tasks that would be highly beneficial for me to batch to ensure I stay consistent and to help me meet my goals. Those 4 tasks are: Blogging, Social Media Strategy, Podcasting and E-mail marketing.
Once I determined what tasks I watch to batch work I also needed to have a schedule established. This would help me determine how much to batch at once and when to schedule it. Here is an example of my schedule -
Blog Posts - 3x/week Monday, Wednesday + Friday
Podcast- 1x/week released on Wednesday mornings
Social Media- Instagram, 2 posts/day Facebook, 1 post/day, Pinterest 5 pins/day (of my own content)
E-mail Marketing - 1 email/week to my list
I set up my batching process to ensure I meet all of these goals and create consistency in my business. If possible it also means that if I have a vacation coming up or a time when I wouldn't be able to complete these tasks that my business would continue running even if I'm not working.
If I stay focused and I stay on task (you can read my post about boosting your productivity here) - I can work usually in about 2 hour blocks and then I need a break. Everyone works differently so you just need to find a block schedule that works best for you. Here's an example of how I set up my batching schedule:
Monday - 9-11am - Blogging, 1130-130pm - Social Media Marketing, 200pm-4pm Podcasting
You may want to batch even more and say take an entire morning or afternoon and devote it to one task such as writing blog posts and completing 3 or 4 in one batch. They key to batching is to set up a schedule that you can stick to and to keep yourself accountable for meeting your daily/weekly or monthly goals. If you start getting more completed than you thought was possible during your batching thats awesome. Just keep scheduling out those posts as far out in advance as you can. Get your business on autopilot!
To help me stay on track each month I create a calendar and map out my batching days. Here's an example of a typical week:
The key to making a schedule like this work is to stay on track and give yourself some grace. Once you start implementing the schedule you'll get an idea of how much you can accomplish in these assigned blocks. If you find you need more time during the week for a task you can change the schedule. (Don't forget - you are the boss!)
So, what do you think? Are you willing to give it a try?
After committing to a batch schedule for just one week I saw a huge difference in my business. I felt like I finally had control and I wasn't always playing catch up! I can only imagine what sticking to this plan long term can do for my business.
Have you had success with batch working? I've to hear from you!!!
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