If you’ve been around the online business world for any length of time, you have undoubtedly heard the advice to “batch your tasks for success!” Many influencers and educators sing the praises of batching, promising that it will increase your productivity to near superhuman levels.
Sounds great, right?
It is…if you’re the kind of person (and have the kind of business) that batching works for.
With all the people saying all the things about how amazing task batching is, I HAD to give it a go in my business. I tried batching off and on during 2017 and 2018.
I really, genuinely wanted to love it…but I absolutely. did. not.
I found out the hard way that batching just doesn’t work for me or my business. However, I did find something else that does.
Why batching didn’t work for me (and why you may be struggling with it, too)
Reason #1: my work takes a lot of time
Yep: the stuff I actually get paid to do–custom development work–is very time intensive. I found that, if I was spending days batching content, I wasn’t getting any of my client work done. And, if I was making sure client projects stayed on track, my batch days got pushed out further and further in my calendar.
Reason #2: my brain doesn’t like batching
It sounds funny, but it’s true.
I need a certain amount of variety in my day to stay engaged, focused, and motivated. That’s one big reason why I struggled so much when working in a traditional job: I got terribly bored. It’s also why I love the constantly changing world of development so much.
On batch days, I would procrastinate and be super unproductive after a while. My brain was crying out for some diversity!
What I do instead of dying of batching boredom
So, how do I publish content consistently in my business without dedicated batch days?
I schedule my tasks in small blocks. It’s kind of like anti-batching! 😉
This method gives me plenty of variety in my workday so that I stay interested and engaged in each task instead of drifting off into daydreams or finding distractions to entertain myself. It ensures that I have more than enough time in my day to get my client work completed. And, it still gives me a publishing schedule so that I don’t go really long periods of time without putting out new content.
There are a couple of drawbacks to my scheduling method, though.
First, you have to be very disciplined to make sure you don’t get really behind on your content (but I found the same to be true of batching as well). Second, you don’t get that nice time buffer where all your content is queued up and waiting in the wings like you do if you’re a dedicated batcher.
How you can use my scheduling method for creating content
In short, you break big tasks–like writing a blog post–up into small, bite-sized chunks that take no more than an hour to accomplish. Then, you schedule those chunks predictably into your agenda.
For example, I publish newsletters each week for my main business. Instead of writing all of my newsletters at one time, I break up the process as follows:
- On Mondays, I outline that week’s email, come up with some possible subject lines, and write a rough draft of the email content
- On Wednesdays, I proof and edit my email draft, choose my final subject line, and plug all my content into ActiveCampaign for sending on Thursdays
I do something similar with the EBB newsletters (every other week) and with my blog posts for both blogs. And, I repeat each set of tasks either weekly or monthly so that I always know what I need to work on and when it needs to be done.
Hate batching? Don’t feel bad.
Every method doesn’t necessarily work the same for every business owner. Instead of beating yourself up, give my scheduling method a try…or find something else that you think may work better for you. After all, that’s the perk of running your own business: you get to do things YOUR way!