The Power of Batching Your Tasks, Posts, and Processes
Batching tasks, posts, and processes can optimize and clear your calendar of items for months at a time. Instead of frantically trying to fit in a task daily or weekly, devote time to working on a single item over one or two days. Doing so will reduce strain on the mind and cut out the inefficiencies currently governing your workflow.
The Problem with Multi-Tasking
While we often honor multitaskers for everything they appear to accomplish, the truth is that we are not most efficient when multitasking. Getting in the groove of a task takes time and continuing in the groove is important to making the best of your working hours. The result of multitasking is a startling 40% dip in efficiency according to Harvard Business Review.
Even small interruptions, such as receiving a social media alert, takes us off course for fifteen minutes. Think about how many interruptions you face in a day and the staggering amount of time it takes your brain to reroute and refocus.
Without creating a system to combat multitasking and interruptions, productivity is put in serious jeopardy. This is where batching comes in. Batching helps complete tasks in high volumes by reducing distraction from continuous change.
How to Start Batching
Before you start batching, assess your current workload. Which projects are recurring? Where does a large volume of work exist? Which tasks are similar, requiring the same program or process to complete?
Write down the answers and find natural pairings or small items that can be batched to wipe them out for long periods of time. It may take a while to figure out your batching strategy, but it will save you time in the end and you can repeat it whenever the need arises.
Social media posts, video and photo editing, blog writing, billing, and paperwork are just a few ideas of tasks to batch. However, you can break these items into even smaller pieces for more efficiency. For example, blog posts for next month can be written on Monday while Tuesday is spent sourcing photos.
Another option- consider scheduling all meetings for the week on one day. Try allotting a set time during two mornings devoted to making sales calls. Popular in recent years is setting aside fifteen minutes once or twice per day to read and respond to emails.
Tasks that you can complete on autopilot, such as administrative tasks, require a much different head space than higher-level thinking. Rather than shifting your mindset 180 degrees to flip between the two types of tasks in a day, purposefully schedule your work to attend to administrative tasks at one time and higher-level tasks at another.
Batch in a way that suits your needs. Perhaps you need to work on editing photos for next month’s Instagram or pulling quotes to use on Twitter. You may only need a few hours for each task and only use part of one day each week. Others may benefit from structuring their entire work week around batching. Think about what works best for you and get it on the calendar.
Drive Towards Success
Set clear expectations of your batching sessions to give yourself something to work towards. Are you trying to finish ten blog posts for the next month? Do you want to work your way through last month’s invoices and payments? Before you batch, understand what you are trying to accomplish so you know when you have hit your goal.
Once your batching strategy is set, be disciplined about your plan moving forward. Block out your calendar and put on do not disturb alerts on company messengers and the phone. Remember, the goal of batching is to cut down on distractions, hone in on a specific task, and drive efficiency. That is impossible if you are constantly interrupted.
Using Social Media Schedulers
Depending on the tasks, are a multitude of tools to help with batching. However, one of the most notable for digital marketing is social media schedulers. Social media management can be an absolute time drain, but it does not have to be. By utilizing tools like MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, Tailwind, Buffer, or native social media schedulers, you can save an astounding number of hours per month. Simply create your posts in-program and schedule them as far into the future as you wish.
There are tools with higher price points (depending on the plan) such as MeetEdgar and Hootsuite with capabilities to plan posts across multiple platforms at the same time. Instead of batching posts for individual social media channels one by one, you can knock out everything in one batching session. MeetEdgar will even create a library of posts that you can repeat at scheduled or varying times. Doing so will likely double your productivity at minimum. The benefits grow exponentially if you have evergreen posts that can be repeated as long as your business is running.
Using native schedulers, such as the Pages scheduler on Facebook, is a free alternative to using a third-party program. Facebook’s native scheduler will increase your post and page views against other schedulers due to its algorithm. Although, using tools with library and multi-platform posting features may increase overall efficiency enough to justify ditching the native scheduler altogether.
No matter the breadth of the task, batching can help you finish projects that might never get off the ground due to distractions or a scattered workload. As you go through this next week, observe the tasks you typically complete and look for opportunities to start batching.
Are you already a fan of batching? Let us know which tasks work best for you. If you have not started, tell us what you want to try.