When I think back to how I worked when I first started my business, I realize I was SO inefficient. I did have an infant… and then a toddler and an infant, but still. My work style was holding me back from reaching my goals. And one day, it finally clicked with me and I started getting EVERYTHING done. Let’s talk about how to batch no matter what type of business you have.
How to Batch like a Bada**
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
What is batching?
Batching is really just putting like tasks together in your day-to-day. So, all the writing tasks go together, or all the filming tasks go together, etc.
If you want to learn ALL the things about how to batch, you can go ahead and grab my Hustle & Grit Guide freebie below, too 🙂
Why should I batch?
Batching is a MAGICAL process. But there’s a reason why it’s magical. Let’s talk about why!
When you batch like tasks together, you’re saving your brain from taking extra transition time
Your brain does this thing called “context switching” when you switch from task A to task Z. We might not feel it, but it’s a very real thing. If you go from writing an email to editing a video to a phone call to graphics creation, your brain takes time in between each of those tasks to calibrate to the new thing.
When you REMOVE that context switching time, you’re going to come out with a better product in the end and get rid of some time that you’re wasting.
We’ve all sat down to do something new and just can’t seem to get started on it. That’s because our brains haven’t caught up to the task yet!
If you work against your brain with context switching, then you can waste a lot of time. But if you work WITH your brain… you can get so much more done! Once your brain is in a specific mode, you can get into a flow and accomplish a lot.
Imagine it like a car
Imagine you’re on a totally flat road and your car is dead and you need to push it into your driveway. You and a few of your friends start pushing the car and get it rolling. Instead of keeping on pushing, you let it roll until it comes to a complete stop and then start pushing all over again. Getting started again is going to take a TON of your energy.
The smart thing to do once you’ve got it rolling is to maintain the momentum and keep it rolling until your driveway, right? Our brains work the same way. Once we’ve gotten the momentum started, then keeping it going is easy! Making it come to a complete stop and then trying to regain that momentum is muuuuuch harder.
If you’re writing an email and then try to switch to recording a video, you have to push it to get the momentum going again. But, if you’re writing an email and you switch to writing Facebook posts or another email sequence, you’ve got the momentum behind you and can keep going much easier!
Batch like tasks together
Look at your to-do list for the week and figure out which tasks are similar. Maybe you have 5 writing-based tasks this week, a bunch of calls on Tuesday, and some audio you need to record. Or maybe you have a meeting one day that you have to get ready for and you also have four videos you need to film.
Group tasks that require similar skill sets together and plan your week that way.
The tasks you group don’t have to be part of the same project or even on the same topic! They just need to work with the same part of your brain.
You can incorporate batching into any schedule, no matter what your job.
As I’ve said a million times before – I take all of my calls on Tuesdays. It works better for my brain, I never worry about missing a call, and I always know I have other days allocated for work.
Maybe you run a client-based business and you have to make 15 hour-long phone calls per week. You definitely couldn’t batch all of those in one day. But you COULD take four phone calls a day, four days a week so you have one day with no calls. Or you could take 3 per day for 5 days, but only schedule them after 2pm.
Time batching gives you FREEDOM!
One of my core values is freedom. I want the flexibility to be able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. And while time batching might sound restrictive, it actually gives you MORE freedom in your schedule.
If you batch your tasks, make sure everything on your to-do list is accomplished during the week, and you’ve done the work, then you’re free. You know everything is done and you’re not stressing about work or wondering if you should do something else.
I am a calendar-averse person… I used to HATE putting anything on a calendar because it meant that moment was no longer free for me. My calendar being completely packed full of calls gives me stress. I may have 7 things on my to-do list for today, but if they’re all MY things that I’ve chosen to put together on this day, then I know that I have flexibility with them.
As someone who craves flexibility on her calendar, batching is a lifesaver.
If you want to get started batching…
Come up with a weekly to-do list of things that ACTUALLY MATTER.
A lot of times, we’ll look at our calendar, see we have 2 hours to work, and then just fill it with things we need to do. But those things aren’t necessarily the things that actually matter. Like should you be making Instagram graphics in your 2 free hours, or calling someone who could potentially become a client?
So make an INTENTIONAL to-do list that’s tailored to get you toward your actual goals. That’s a key to batching. Sure, you have weekly things that have to get done – add those first. But then, what needs to get done in that week that drives you closer to your goals? And you won’t know those things unless you know exactly what your goals are.
Now, batch like crazy!
The actual batching piece can look different for everyone. I make a list on ClickUp with all of my to-dos and then assign each one to a different status for a different day.
I look at the time I have available for the week and make those decisions in conjunction with my calendar. DO NOT fill up your whole calendar with work chunks! It’s important that you also work out, move your body, spend time with your kids, and do things you actually enjoy.
I see that I have four hours on Monday to work and I have seven writing projects I need to do. So, I put all of my writing projects on Monday.
I see that I have 3, 30 minute chunks of time in between calls. Could I, since I’ll already have makeup on, do Reels that day?
Go through and see where things can fit. You can see which tasks might naturally fit together, and which days you can complete those tasks. And since you’ve created an INTENTIONAL to-do list, you know that you’re doing things that actually make a difference in your business.
When you batch tasks like this, you’ll run out of things to do – guaranteed.
You’ll be so efficient and get through what you need to do that you’ll likely run out of things to do. And you’ll start to learn that you get things done wayyy quicker!
When you hit that point, you have the freedom to decide what to do with that time. Maybe you add more things to your to-do list, change your hours around, or even take one day off per week.
If you’re actually moving toward your goals, then you’ll be able to SEE exactly what you’ve gotten done. And you may even get to the end of the week and have nothing else to do! Again, you could decide to take the day off – or you could grab some tasks from tomorrow’s to-do list and rearrange your week. That’s YOUR choice (and wow, there’s that flexibility I was talking about!)