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 get asked often about how I get 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 for working 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 stick to a specific task and do it until it’s 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.
How to Batch your work
I gave the example of ho 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
- Create main graphic
- Add in links
Now if I did this process for every blog post, 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 like I do a guest post, I usually have some of my posts that can be bounced 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 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.
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.
These 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.
I already plan my preferred images when I select the topic and so when I get to this stage I go onto a picture website and search for each picture.
This stops me from flicking between tabs (which often crashes my machine). Then, when I need to sort the main graphic, I open Canva and create all the week’s graphics, using the headlines I got from the Analyzer.
The images are 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 our focus and 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.
Give it time
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.
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?
I am always so happy to hear from people who read my blog, especially if they find the articles useful or inspiring. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and visit this blog.