Now that the kids are getting back to school it’s time for me to get my adult life back in order. Summer was all over the place with the kids at home and the schedule evolving week by week as we reopened. In the last six months I’ve been putting out fires and getting what I need to get done and not being as efficient with my time as I can be. Perhaps you similarly found yourself working from home surrounded by your family and managing childcare at the same time. I did some research on habits of highly successful people and decided that my number one priority to boost my productivity this fall is to institute time batching.
Why Batch Your Time?
I’m naturally a multi-tasker. I just always thought my mind just worked best switching from one task to another. That often looked like writing a few sentences of a blog or Instagram post, turning to my phone to check emails and texts (getting distracted), then getting back to my initial task. When your mind switches back and forth between tasks you are actually less efficient and it takes longer to complete the initial task. By eliminating the common distractions of the ping of a text, jumping on social media and getting sucked in, I am able to keep focus on my task at hand and accomplish it in less time.
For anyone that is working in a creative field it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to wait for inspiration to be creative and productive. The more I read about habits of highly successful people the more I realize that waiting for inspiration to strike is not an efficient way to organize your business. I don’t always feel creative and that creates anxiety — especially when I feel the burden of a deadline approaching. But I have found that when I push myself to focus and I eliminate all other distractions it’s easier to get into the flow.
What Is Time Batching?
Time Batching is basically the process of creating space to accomplish a set of tasks that are related to each other. I begin by identifying the tasks that must get accomplished each week or month or over the next several months. Then I create a block of time to accomplish those tasks. For example, I know that I’ll need to create content for this blog on a weekly basis. At the beginning of the month I set aside a block of time to plan content ideas. I create a list of 20-25 ideas for blog topics. That’s four months of content that I’ve knocked out in 2 hours which alleviates my stress about what to write about when I’m not feeling creative. I dedicate Wednesday morning to write. When Wednesday morning arrives I look at my list of content ideas and I set out to accomplish 2 blog posts. The uncertainty of what I will write about is eliminated because I have my list of 25 topics to fall back on.
Here’s How I Plan To Batch My Time Each Week
When I’m planning my week I take into account my personal habits and preferences so I am more likely to stick to my schedule and stay on track. For instance, I know Monday morning is hard for me so I don’t schedule my heavy duty thinking and writing on Mondays. Instead, I allow myself the time and space (and grace) to clean up from the overflow of the weekend.
I’m still adjusting to my new school year schedule but here’s an example of my schedule.
Monday — Our weekends are usually busy with family obligations all weekend long. I give myself grace to catch up on Monday morning. Monday is reserved for contracts and billing.
Tuesday — I dedicate time on Tuesday to mapping out my Instagram posts for the week.
Wednesday — Wednesday is my writing day. I don’t need to rush out anywhere so I schedule my day so I have time to create two blog posts.
Thursday — Thursday is the day I work for my family. I run errands. I plan our dinners for the following week and I get the grocery shopping done. Meal prep actually happens on Sunday.
Friday–Fridays are my photography day. I produce any content that I need for Instagram. Once a month I meet with a professional photographer.
By batching my time into blocks dedicated to specific tasks I aim to maximize my work flow. What do you think? Are you ready to start time batching this year?
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