No blog, no treble…
(Because you know I’m all about the Batch, ‘bout the Batch)
Possible meanings for the word ‘Batching’:
- The word accompanied by a number on that tiny sticker when you buy a new pair of undies;
- A term used to describe a young single guy, living life nag-free and covered in dirty dishes (i.e. a Bachelor);
- A mis-spelling of the thing you do with your kids before they go to bed because they’re covered in food, dirt and what appears to be someone else’s clothing from the lost property bin.
Sure. They’re all fine. But when I talk about Batching, I’m talking about one of the best productivity hacks going.
In this context, Batching, means to batch your tasks. I’m going to borrow Sara Davidson’s blog, where she defines it perfectly as:
“Time batching is a simple time-management productivity hack that allows you to take advantage of your full concentration by grouping a bunch of similar activities together and doing them all at the same time.”
I did some research a few months ago, asking ‘why aren’t you blogging as often as you want to be?’ and more than 70% of people said ‘time’.
I’m calling bullsh*t.
We all have the same amount of time, the same competing priorities, the same amount of shiny objects pulling our attention. What this ‘time’ conundrum actually is, is so much more. Some of the actual reasons include confidence (in messaging, in tech and distribution, in mindset about usefulness of what you’re blogging about), commitment and prioritisation.
If you’ve heard about my online program or the retreats I run, you’ll know I’m pretty into Batching. I teach it, I do it, I live it, I love it. I Batch a lot of things - in my business and at home. Things like Blogging (der), reporting, planning, newsletters, meal planning, social media posting, up-cycling and so much more. Even if you’re not consciously batching, it’s likely that you do this in your life or business - to some extent - already! And there are a few very good reasons for it.
More concentration and less distraction. When you set out to complete something specific (and you know the reason WHY it’s important), you can deflect those pesky disctractions (read: Facebook, emails, unexpected phone calls, other projects, etc.) much more easily. Let’s say you take yourself off for a morning coffee at your fave cafe, once a month… you grab your triple-shot-mocha-almond-turmeric-vodka-latte, throw some tunes in your ears and smash out your content for the next 30 days. You are focused. There’s a purpose. There’s an objective. And there’s an outcome.
And best of all, you don’t have to worry about that for the rest of the month.
If you plan to batch (and follow through), you will CONSISTENTLY be able to hit your goals. If you have a goal to publish a blog every week, and you can batch-create your blogs, you will consistently be able to publish them. It’s a cycle of gorgeousness!
You know… that thing that makes you feel like you got loads done… because you did…
Without tools like batching, many of us have the tendency to string things out. How many times have you started a blog and never finished it? How many times did you sit down to write a newsletter only to realise there was a half-written draft already in there? With batching, you’re in and you’re out - with a completed thing (or things, more likely). It gets done faster, to a higher quality and leaves time to do everything else.
When you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone, know what I mean? Your language, the pace, the energy of your work feels the same. This totally builds on the #KLT (Know-Like-Trust) factor. Your audience knows what to expect from you - and they can connect with your tone and your message and… you!
This one always interests me… a lot of people’s objections to batching and/or planning is that it stifles their creativity. This is a valid concern, but in my experience (and I’ve worked with some SUPER creative people), when there’s even a tiny bit of structure in place (read: foundations for strong business), there’s actually MORE space and possibility for creativity.
By planning to batch, and completing tasks with focus and forward-thinking, we can be proactive, and not reactive. I’m not about being all Me-Show and not leaving space for reactivity… chances are you need a certain amount of space for reactivity to respond to requests and client contact and a million other things. But what I am about is finding a balance between being in control of your actions and fulfilling your goals on one hand and on the other with play, being open to opportunities and spontaneous action.If you combine batching with other excellent productivity tools, such as The Pomodoro Technique, you’ll be purely unstoppable!
Do I have you convinced? Are you ready to at least give it a try?
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Claire Barton is a Content Strategist, who shows entrepreneurs how to plan and create content such as blogs, videos, newsletters, social media content, webinars and more, and is a self-confessed Organisation Nerd, who geeks out on processes, systems, tools, apps, hacks and strategy to make your business easier, more fun and aligned!