Reader Question: “I’ve heard so many people recommend batch working, but I have no idea where to start.”
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Have you heard of batch working? We probably have all heard this phrase 100 times by now, but why does everyone swear by it?
According to a 2001 study, the act of shifting between tasks and the time it takes to shift your focus can cost as much as 40 percent of your productive time!
Batch working is when you complete a group of similar tasks or projects in a given period.
I like to explain it like this: Imagine your business as a factory. Let’s say we are making 100 wooden trucks – because why not?
Which would be faster: completing the assembly of all 100 trucks, then moving on to the next phase, or completing each truck start-to-finish before moving on to the next truck?
The latter would likely take 40% longer because of the act of mentally and physically switching tasks. This is why people swear by batch-working: not only does it save you time, it saves you focus, effort, and potentially wasted materials (paint).
If you are now thinking, “Okay. Okay. you don’t have to keep convincing me, just tell me how,” read on.
5 STEPS TO START EFFECTIVELY BATCH WORKING
Weekly High Five
Make A List
The first thing you need to do is make an extensive list of all of the tasks you need to get done. This includes everything from content creation to client work to your taxes. Now that you have your list, you have a decision to make. Are you going to group by project or by type?
Choose Your Adventure
Some people prefer to work solely on one client’s project per day, while others may want to complete each step of every project at the same time. Both are valid, and both maintain your focus in different ways. If you are a copywriter, writing in one client’s voice at a time may be the most effective for you. It depends on how your focus works best.
Make a Schedule
Once you have grouped your tasks into manageable batch working groups, it’s time to make a schedule that doesn’t cause burnout. Choose a block of time for each group of tasks. Will this group take a few hours, a day, a week? Take your time and schedule breaks.
On the night before you start each new group, set out everything you could possibly need to accomplish the tasks included. If you are wireframing a website: grab a pencil, a notepad, snacks, water, your computer, and the client’s copy and intake questionnaire. Make a list and gather everything on it. This way, you can hit the ground running tomorrow and make the most of your scheduled time.
Because you are now only working on these tasks every few days or weeks, you will need to work ahead and ensure that enough work is completed to cover you until the next batch working day for this group of tasks. For this think; content creation. Create enough to last you a month and schedule it ahead of time.
Once you’ve done all that, sit back and enjoy the lack of stress and frustration you used to feel from having to complete your social media for the day, then client work, then your admin work.
Batch working allows you to maintain focus and momentum, which will save you time and enable you to work ahead, freeing that mental space and crossing off your to-do list. I’m telling you if you haven’t tried it: do it!
It is life-changing. If you have any questions or need more guidance, please fill out the form above and ask away!