A Simple Strategy To Boost Your Productivity & Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Being an entrepreneur, blogger, or small business owner comes with a lengthy to-do list and a large spectrum of priorities. Juggling all of the tasks it takes to keep a business or entrepreneurial endeavor sustained and growing requires significant time and energy. It’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in a to-do list instead of making progress toward your goals or growing, spinning your wheels just trying to keep up each day.
Until recently I felt that way often with my blogs. I devoted so much time and energy to the mundane tasks that were required to sustain my income, that I made no progress to move them forward. Instead of devoting time to creating new content and strategizing for my blog growth, I was held back by designing and scheduling seemingly never-ending Pinterest graphics just to keep my traffic and profit afloat.
While my efforts were necessary for my blog to maintain it’s position and earnings, I felt stuck in an unproductive cycle that wasn’t moving me forward. It wasn’t until I began to implement a structure of working in batches that I suddenly began to make substantial progress with my blogs.
I had heard of the batch working concept in the past but had pushed it aside because it sounded awful to me to spend hours (or even days) working on one part of my business if it was a part that I hated. I was highly skeptical of the concept. To be honest, it was a bit accidental that I began to implement it. I stumbled into working in batches because I was trying to be productive while watching a tv series and ended up pounding out my Pinterest graphics and scheduling for several months in advance.
I didn’t enjoy buckling down on only one mundane task for several weeks. However, when the task was complete I was able to dive into other avenues of my blog growth with a new surge of creativity and productivity. I began churning out new posts faster than I ever had before and I was full of new ideas to pursue for growth – things that had been hampered in the past by the administrative stress hanging over my head.
I was blown away by how much more I accomplished for my blog in the same amount of time that I’ve always devoted to it. I was also blown away by the renewal of my creative energy!
I had accidentally stumbled on GOLD.
If you’ve been skeptical of a batch working strategy for your blog or business (or simply haven’t heard of it or considered it in the past) it can be a game-changer for your productivity. In this post, I’m going to define for you what batch working is, outline for you some specific ways that it increases productivity, and help you to discern whether implementing it is the right strategy for you and your business.
What is batch working?
Quite simply, batch working is completing your tasks in bulk or in related groupings. It means focusing on one task or type of task for long periods of time – even days or weeks. For example, maybe you sit down and knock out all of your marketing planning for one quarter over the course of a week or two instead of visiting the task every month, or maybe you complete all of your keyword research for blog posts over the course of several weeks instead of as you write each post.
Working in batches requires concentrating on one type of work for a sometimes very extended amount of time. For me, that means spending 2-3 weeks every quarter creating Pinterest graphics and scheduling them out. It means spending several weeks each year compiling keyword research and planning out content for the year. It also means spending months at a time writing and cranking out new posts. You get the idea…
If your business requires you to spend time on the phone or to respond to emails, batch working might look like closing your email screen for most of the day and devoting just one period of time per day to check it. It might look like letting non-urgent calls collect in your voicemail and setting aside a period of time each day to return them all. The outworkings will look different for every different type of business, but the core concept of batch working is to devote your focus to one task at a time while blocking out all other tasks.
How does batch working increase productivity?
I alluded to this above, but I found batch working to increase my productivity for three notable reasons:
- It allows you to devote your mind to one thing at a time. Devoting your mind to one thing at a time minimizes interrupted focus and the loss of time that results from mental transitions. It allows your mind to get “in a groove” with the task you are working on – It’s mentally easier to pick up and continue doing one thing than to start into something new multiple times a day.
- It opens your mind for inspiration. Separating administrative and creative tasks allows you to access the different parts of your brain more fully. When you spend extended time on a creative aspect of your blog or business, having your mind free from administrative stress allows your thoughts to flow more freely and can help you complete creative tasks quicker and better!
- It reduces wasted transition time. Instead of logging into a new program or browser every time you open your computer, batch working reduces physical transition time by keeping you engaged with one set of tools for an extended period of time. Several minutes per work session are saved if you can simply pick up with your software or equipment where you left off the last time you were working. It may seem like small savings, but it adds up over time!
I was AMAZED at my creative productivity when I began to implement a batch working strategy. Even when I had tried to focus exclusively on writing posts for my blogs in the past I had struggled to come up with ideas and ended up actually publishing maybe one post per blog every couple of weeks. When I began implementing batch working I suddenly had so many post ideas swarming my brain that I had to make a list – and I published 5 posts over the course of two weeks!
Simply removing an administrative to-do list and its stress from my brain increased my productivity 5-fold. (And all of my administrative tasks got accomplished in less time as well!)
Can batch working work for you?
If your business REQUIRES interruptions like phone calls or customer service it may be more difficult to implement a batch working strategy. However, there are often still ways to organize your tasks to take advantage of the productivity boost that a dedicated mental focus brings.
If you’re a skeptic of batch working like I was, I recommend giving it a try. You might be surprised at the difference that it makes. In the worst-case scenario that you hate it, you can always revert back to a previous method of prioritizing your schedule and to-do list.
FINAL NOTE: I do think it’s important to note that while working in batches can go far to channel your energy toward increased productivity, you aren’t going to see results from it if you have no energy to channel. If you are struggling with burn-out start first by conquering your burnout, and then move forward into channeling your energy efficiently! If you’re a blogger feeling unmotivated and drained, make sure you check out my top 5 tips for fighting blogger burnout.
Batch working was a game-changer for my productivity. If you’re struggling to get ahead with your blog or business, it may be just the adjustment you need to grow! It’s a simple strategy that yields huge results.