Frequently, I receive comments or emails requesting productivity tips. The top one I have is; task batching. Generally, they want to know how I manage to achieve so much in so little time. For those of you that don’t know, I suffer from chronic medical conditions which are debilitating. They mean that I’m only able to work for a couple of hours each day for a few days a week, so my time is VERY VALUABLE to me.
This post is to show you a behind-the-scenes of my task batching system. When you need to publish a post or send out a quick newsletter, you can go to your content bank and customise it. It saves SO MUCH TIME! When you feel like you’ve run out of ideas, you can dip into the bank.
How Tasks Batching Will SUPERCHARGE Your Productivity As An Entrepreneur
What On Earth Is Task Batching?
Task batching is a time management system that maximises concentration. It maximises productivity. Creativity, and mental sharpness while it helps to minimize distractions, stress, and fatigue. Sounds too good to be true right?
Basically, task batching is where you group a long list of similar tasks. The aim here is to complete them during a dedicated period with no interruptions. This cuts down on time it takes for your brain to switch and refocus between different tasks.
Multi-Tasking Is THE WORST
I’m always doing a million things at once, and my mind never shuts up. Ever. I used to pride myself on my multi-tasking artistry until it got exhausting and unmanageable. I’m a complete Plannerd. Organizing my calendar and being organized gives me a crazy high so I was proud of my multi-tasking skillz. Multi-tasking got me pretty far, so of course, I thought it’d come in handy as an entrepreneur.
Ha. You’re so funny Claire.
I’m insanely passionate about my business, so every task is urgent. Not just that, but I want it done yesterday. Before I started task batching, I’d switch from task to task in an exhausting, never-ending loop and never actually achieving my weekly goal.
All of this switching back and forth comes at a cost
Something had to change.
Your brain needs time to refocus on the task at hand – about 25min to be exact. And that shit adds up! How much do you get distracted in a day?
My office looks over my neighbours garden and frequently I’m distracted by birds flying by. I had to start closing my blinds to stay focused. Be proactive! If something is distracting, move it, or move location.
Your Brain Needs Time To Catch Up Every Time You Switch Tasks:
Once your brain is focused on a certain type of task, you really should capitalise on that focus until the task is complete. It’s the effort it takes our brain to switch between tasks that make us tired, stressed, and unproductive. Not the task itself. That’s why task batching is like therapy and meditation for your workflow. Mix in daily meditation and you have everything you need to take over the world!
With task batching, you stay focused on a certain task and can achieve a certain flow. Also known as a mental state where we get “in the zone,”. Distractions dissipate, and the work becomes easier. However, if you check Instagram every 5 min and have The Real Housewives screaming in the background, you cannot possibly be focused at all. That’s where task batching comes in. Schedule that screen time! Apply kid rules to yourself.
How To Start Task Batching Right Now:
- Pull out your to-do list or create one
- Group similar tasks logically by type (emails, phone calls, meetings etc) Whatever makes the most sense to you.
- Split your day into segments and assign each task category a dedicated time window.
Here’s a real example of how I task batch my workweek:
See how I get all of my writing done in dedicated, uninterrupted periods? That’s because it takes a lot of focus. Every day, I wake up tired. I’m never not tired. All of the task switching is exhausting. I’m task batching as I write this (I’ll write several articles today).
You can batch tasks that use similar resources by day, week, monthly, quarterly, etc. Again, whatever suits you. The template provided is for writing.
Each column represents 25 minutes, if you need more than 25 minutes, you can divide the square again. Using the Pomodoro technique, you can focus for 25 minutes, take a break and then continue.
I try to write two posts and two newsletters every week, you can write as much or as little as you like. Depending on how much you work on your blog, you can write as much as you like.
The Realities Of Task Batching
I’m always going to be real with you. A few things you should know:
Life happens. Things come up, and I can’t always stick to my task batching calendar; you have to give yourself some wiggle room. Forgive yourself. If you need to adjust, just move that task to another time slot and adjust your calendar. DO NOT go back to multi-tasking!
Task batch planning takes time. So, you’re going to need to task batch that too! Grab your free printable template:
You can make it fun! I use different colours of Sharpies, highlighters, and sticky notes on my laminated template. I’ve moved on from using my Bullet Journal to track my tasks.
Important Things To Do:
You need to do everything you can to minimise distractions. I turned off email alerts, and often I switch off the sound and leave my phone in the bottom of my bag.
On a daily basis, I check my emails twice. Once at the start of my workday and once at the end. Since doing this, I make fewer careless mistakes. I feel in control rather than disoriented.
The Bottom Line:
Since I started task batching, I get more done that I actually care about and enjoy. It’s not a perfect system (obviously, nothing is), but I’m more in control over how I spend my time.
Not only that, but task batching has made me more effective in other tasks.
Grab Your Free Task Batching Template:
Case in point;
Designing Powerful Pins For My Content:
Thanks to my batching system, I optimized my workflow so I’m prepared when it comes to creating social media content. I’m able to design pins and social media images in less than 15 minutes.
Using Pinterest templates created by a graphic designer that you can customize for your brand? Get out of town. It’s a complete time saver!Get Your Templates Here
They’re 100% customizable, which means that you can apply your own color scheme, branding, and design sensibility of choice.
Remember, we all have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé. BUT, it’s important to remember that she is a huge brand and not a mere mortal like the rest of us.
Why I’m Exactly Like Beyonce (in that, we both have employees)
It’s pretty easy to see how having creative experts on your side can impact your brand. I recently hired my fourth employee and I can tell you first hand what a difference it has made in all aspects of my life.
Not only do I have someone doing those boring tasks that suck up so much time, but I’m also paying my employee less than my business makes on for those hours.
The reason that I’m able to do it, is because I planned my business, my tasks and my time effectively.
Having a profit plan in place, and knowing my numbers, allowed me to grow my business even more.
That’s how business works. I’m making money when I’m lying on the couch binging on Forensic Files and sipping on a hot cup of tea.
How much do you value your time? Are you ready to knuckle down and finally KNOW exactly what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you’re going to do it?
Print out the template above and get going!