When you are spinning a lot of plates in your life, you damn sure need to use whatever system you can to help keep you working efficiently.
I have a lot of projects on the go as well as business and home responsibilities so I am always looking for new ways to work better.
A number of you commented on my new schedule that makes me so much more productive, well this is the add on to that. 🙂
How I Get Stuff Done
I often get asked how I get so many things done. People who follow me on different platforms or who know me, are aware of a number of projects I do and always seem interested in how I work.
I do juggle a lot and I am always adding to my list of projects and tasks. So I really do need to be as efficient as possible. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t always happen, but that’s what I aim for.
As I said in my new schedule post, I aim to work on one specific task each day. So Monday is for all things blogging, Tuesday is all things business etc.
Within those specific days, I tighten up efficiency by batching my work.
What The Heck Is Batching?
Batching is where you cluster specific tasks together and do them until they are completed. Let’s take my Blogging Day as an example.
I “batch” all my blogging tasks on Monday and I work through until the whole week’s posts are sorted.
Now, we have all been working under the assumption that “multi-tasking” is a good thing and wow, look how much we can get done! But really it’s not a positive. It can actually be detrimental.
By keeping your focus on more narrowed tasks is seen as a better method. It also reduces the urge to flit from task to task.
How To Batch Your Work
I gave the example above of how I use Monday for blogging, but I break the work down further into batches.
Writing a blog post is more than just the writing, the process can be like this:
- Come up with a topic
- Write the post
- Create headline
- Source images/featured image
- Create main text graphic
- Add in links
- Create social media graphics
Now if I did this process individually for every blog post one at a time, it would take longer, I know because that’s how I used to do it.
So instead of writing a post, sorting the headline, finding graphics, editing and then repeating another 3 times, I save time by batching them.
I take time early on to fill out a month’s worth of content for my blog using my content calendar.
I stay on that task until I have a nice full month of ideas. If something crops up, for example, if I end up being a guest on someone else’s blog, I can simply bounce some of my posts to the next month. But overall, I have a full month of ideas listed.
With the topics already sorted when it comes to writing, this is a lot quicker. I have a Template Post that I use via the “copy post” option.
This is already set out with my header and footer colour formatting and style, my newsletter graphic, my break-line etc.
So then I plot and write each of the posts coming up in the week. I make sure to break everything down with headers and update the footer and header information.
After the posts have all been written, I go through each, editing and proofreading. Then I run them through Grammarly and make any changes I feel are appropriate.
Since I use the tool Headline Analyzer to come up with my blog post titles, I get the whole week’s done in one sitting. I try and make sure my titles are at least above 70.
These titles then get dropped into my content calendar as I choose them.
I batch all my image searches together rather than writing one blog post, then going and looking for a picture and then creating the graphic.
When I am coming up with my topics, I usually have some basic ideas of what sort of images I will want to use and make a note in the content calendar. So when I get to this stage I go onto a stock image and search for relevant pictures.
This stops me from flicking between tabs (which often crashes my laptop). Then, when I need to sort the main graphic, I open Canva and create the week’s graphics, using the headlines I got from the Analyzer.
The images are then all downloaded and compressed, again, all in one sitting so I am not constantly shifting my attention from one tab to another.
Why Is Batching Useful?
Batching helps to keep us focused and helps us get into the zone. When we are constantly shifting tasks, moving our attention from one job to another, it takes us more time to gain focus and it erodes our willpower.
We need to find the flow, where the work because smooth and efficient and we move from one stage to another effortlessly. Batching can help to achieve that.
Some bloggers are known to batch-write months of content in just a day. I am not yet up to that, not even close, but I love the idea of it and I am hoping to eventually be able to reach that goal.
At the moment, I am still undoing all the effects of my old habits of constantly shifting.
However, just a few months of batching my work has made things so much more efficient for me.
Remember that this won’t be an instantly easy system. It’s about unlearning old habits and reforming new ones.
You will find your willpower and focus can become sharper but it won’t happen immediately. So be patient and stick with it.
Your brain likes to follow old patterns so it will keep trying to pull you away. Stick with it and see how much more you get done.
Do you find you are able to focus easily for long periods of time or not?