Batching: Your Productivity Sidekick

How many “productivity hacks” have you encountered or read about lately? They’re prevalent for a reason: every solopreneur is out to do the same — get more done with less, and make the most of our (seemingly limited) time.

The truth is, there are truly great methods out there — the Pomodoro Technique, unplugging, taking breaks, you name it. And different things work for different people. But there’s one trick I’ve witnessed that has worked time and time again for countless solopreneurs.

The key: batching

I’m sure you’ve heard of it before: batching. But what exactly does it mean?

The term “batching” simply means focused blocks of time spent on one task.

Multi-tasking is no longer the be-all, end-all for productivity that it was once thought to be. In fact, multi-tasking is actually a costly habit to form. Instead, adopting a batching process promotes getting your mind into a state of flow, where a singular focus leads to increased productivity.

When batching works best

While batching can be used for any to-do list in your personal or business life, I find that batching works best for me when I have a pretty hefty list full of either diverse tasks or clients.

As a copywriter and editor, I find it particularly helpful when it comes to adopting voices. Singularly focusing on one client means I can adopt their voice through-and-through for a set amount of time. Making a rule that I won’t check email or write social posts during that time keeps me from attempting to switch between the client’s voice and my own.

Even just hopping over to email to respond to something “real quick” means a mindset shift, and a break in your state of flow. Getting back into the groove of that client’s work takes at least 15 minutes. Those quarter hours add up quick!

How you can apply batching to your day

Batching can be applied in a slew of different ways. Here are a few ideas:

– Client tasks and projects
– Content creation for your own business (blog posts, newsletters, etc.)
– Collaborative projects
– Writing and scheduling social media posts
– Reading and responding to emails (Tim Ferriss has been doing this for years.)
– Setting up and improving the logistical processes for your business

You can batch your list out either by the actual type of task (i.e, writing), or by the client. In my case, it certainly works better to batch by client, then further batch by the type of work. So with clients for whom I write blogs posts, newsletters, and social posts, I first batch out a block of time to work specifically on that one client, then within that time, I batch the blog posts, then the newsletters, then the social posts.

Make your list, check it twice… then attack it by batching!

Take a look at your list and divide it out by either task or client. Then get out your calendar and batch out blocks of time.

Stick with it, not matter how hard it gets, for three weeks — after all, a new habit takes a minimum of 21 days to adopt, on average. Keep track of what you get done with an app like iDoneThis. Watch your productivity skyrocket.

Batching leads to greater productivity, which leads to happier clients, and a One Woman Shop with more time to read, play, relax, or hey, take on more clients. Not bad, eh?

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Sara Frandina is a New York-based copywriter + editor with a relentless love of words and an insatiable appetite for books, travel, and popcorn. She runs her own One Woman Shop, curing the ails of lackluster copy at sarafrandina.com while also happily serving as Content Editor + Co-Head Honcho here at OWS.

2 Comments on Batching: Your Productivity Sidekick

  1. Alex Zamorski
    October 17, 2014 at 8:16 am (3 years ago)

    Awesome article. Batching totally saves my days and my sanity. I make sure to have scheduled “batching” days as much as I can. For example, Wednesdays are (usually) writing days for me where I try to bang out the following week’s articles and blogs. Using my editorial calendar for reference helps keep me motivated to stay on track, too.

    Reply
    • Sara Frandina
      October 17, 2014 at 8:38 am (3 years ago)

      Alex – Thanks for commenting! I totally agree. My days have shifted SO much since I started batching. Some days take more self-control than others to stay on task, though. Thanks for sharing your process – that’s a great way to stay ahead on an editorial calendar!

      Reply

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