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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