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Do you wish you could be more productive? Work less and get more done? Well you can! Task-batching will help you save time AND get way more done on your blog every month. Here’s how…
Do you feel like there is always too much to do and never enough time to do it in?
The problem with blogging is that there are just so many moving parts – so many different tasks that need to get done each month.
And there never ever seems to be enough time to do them in!
But the good news is there is a way to become much, much more efficient at all those blogging tasks… and that’s task batching!
Task batching will help you get more done in less time, so that you can get way more done on your blog every month…
But it gets better, because task batching will also reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm AND help you produce better quality work too!
What is task batching?
So what exactly is task batching?
Task batching is a productivity hack that helps you use your time more efficiently by ‘batching’ similar tasks together and doing them all at once, rather than dealing with them sporadically.
By dedicating a specific block of time to a specific type of task – for example, writing blog posts or replying to emails – you are able to work in a more focused and efficient way, minimize distractions and produce better quality work.
We ‘batch’ tasks in our daily lives all the time – for example, no-one bakes 12 cupcakes one cupcake at a time, or washes their laundry one item at a time – and the same time-saving principles of batching similar tasks together can also be applied to blogging.
The multi-tasking myth
One of the reasons why batching is so effective is because it forces us to focus on one activity at a time – as opposed to ‘multi-tasking’.
In the past, multi-tasking was glorified and seen as the best way to maximize productivity. Now we know that multi-tasking is a myth.
Study after study has shown that multi-tasking actually decreases productivity dramatically. For example, in his article for the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman explains that, when we try to multi-task, we think we are being more productive but… “In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don’t actually multi-task. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process”.
Our brains can’t actually pay attention to two tasks simultaneously, and in fact, our brains can’t even switch between two tasks quickly. Studies show that it takes on average 23 minutes to get back into a task after being interrupted from it.
If you are constantly switching backwards and forwards between tasks, that’s a lot of wasted minutes!
Why task-batching works
Batching works because it minimizes set-up time, minimizes task-switching costs and allows you to properly get into the ‘flow’ of an activity.
Batching minimizes set-up time
For every activity there is always a certain amount of ‘set-up’ time – the time it takes you to get yourself in a state where you are ‘ready’ to start work.
This could be turning on your computer, logging in, getting the right tabs or files open, grabbing a pen and notebook, setting up your photography equipment or simply getting your head around the task.
The fewer times you ‘start’ an activity, the less time you will spend on these ‘set-up’ tasks and the more time you will save.
Batching minimizes task-switching costs
I mentioned earlier that studies have shown it takes 23 minutes ON AVERAGE to get back into an activity after a distraction.
It is obvious then that by focusing on one activity at a time, we can save an enormous amount of time!
Imagine I start to write a blog post which would normally take me an hour, but during that time I get interrupted by 4 emails… it doesn’t take a genius to realise that that blog post will take a lot longer to write: the time it takes to write the blog post (60 minutes) plus the time it takes me to get back into writing the blog post after 4 interruptions (92 minutes). That one hour blog post will end up taking me over two and a half hours to write… but a whopping great 92 minutes of that will be wasted time!
Batching allows you to properly get into the ‘flow’ of an activity
We all know how, when we have be working on the same activity for a period of time, we start to get ‘into the flow’ – the activity becomes quicker and easier to do and we start to enjoy it more.
But we need to be doing the same activity for a reasonably long time in order to achieve this state of ‘flow’. Batching blogging tasks allows us to take advantage of the productivity benefits that come from reaching that state of ‘flow’ – resulting not only in being able to do a certain activity more quickly, but also on being able to do it BETTER!
Which blogging tasks can you batch?
So, which blogging activities can be batched? The truth is almost every blogging task can be batched, but here are some of the most obvious opportunities.
Emails can be one of the biggest sources of distraction for bloggers, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Instead of reading and replying to emails as soon as they come in, deal with your emails in batches. Check your emails just once or twice a day… and when you do, deal with everything in your inbox! You will not only save time by dealing with your emails more efficiently, you will also save time because you are not letting your emails disrupt your other blogging tasks.
Social Media (replying to comments / being sociable)
In a similar way, stop letting your social media habit ruin your productivity! Check all your social media channels once a day maximum. Go in, respond to comments, interact a bit and then get out of there! Better still, set a timer and allow yourself only a certain amount of time to be sociable on social media each day. When the time is up, that’s the end of your social media time for the day!
Social Media (content creation)
One of the biggest productivity gains for bloggers comes when you batch your social media content creation. It is far, far more efficient to create all your social media content for the week (or month) in one sitting, than create each new post on the fly.
Using a tool like CoSchedule, which allows you to schedule posts to multiple social media channels in one hit, can further increase your productivity gains in this area.
BLOG Content planning
Likewise, you can score HUGE productivity gains by planning the next quarter’s or even the next year’s blog content in one sitting.
And here you are not just saving time, you are also creating a more balanced, better thought out content plan, which will make your blog better for your readers AND help your blog perform better on search engines (not to mention, it will mean you never again have those… ‘oh no it’s Christmas / Easter / Valentine’s Day / Thanksgiving tomorrow and I haven’t created any content AGAIN’ moments)
READ MORE >>> How to create a content plan for your blog
You will benefit MASSIVELY by batching your keyword research. Keyword research is far, far less time-consuming when done once a quarter than doing it right before you sit down to write each post.
Better still, batching keyword research will result in much more effective keyword research, leading to more Google traffic and higher pageviews.
Want to know how to do keyword research better? Watch my FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TRAINING.
Updating old posts
Another place where you can make massive productivity gains by harnessing the power of batching, is when you are updating old blog posts. Instead of doing one update every now and again, spend one whole day a month (or a week, depending on how many you have to do), solely focused on updating old blog posts.
You will find after you have done two or three in a row, you will start to get into the flow and become much more efficient – not to mention better – at doing them.
READ MORE >>> How to update an old blog post and why you should!
Blog Photography (and Videography)
You can save an incredible amount of time if you batch your blog photography. Photography usually involves a large amount of set up time: gathering together and setting up equipment, arranging props and backdrops, preparing the item to be photographed, clearing up afterwards, etc. It therefore makes far more sense to take the photographs for more than one blog post at the same time to minimize those set-up costs. For example, you could set aside one day per month to take all the photographs needed for your blog (and social media channels) for the whole month.
And the same is very much true when it comes to recording videos for your blog and social media channels – it is far more efficient to record 4 videos all on one day each month, than 1 video per week. (Just make sure you change your top each time, if you are doing talking head videos!)
Editing Photos (and videos)
Similarly, you can make huge time savings each month by batching your photo and video editing.
Creating graphics for blog posts
You can also save time each month by batching up creating graphics for your blog. For example, you could create all your pinnable images for the whole month in one sitting.
Blog post writing
You could also batch up your blog post writing. Instead of writing one post a week, you could designate one or two days a month as ‘post writing days’. Keep these days free from all other distractions and just get your head down and WRITE!
Writing is one activity, in particular, where it takes a long time to ‘get into the flow’. But when you do, writing becomes so much quicker, easier and more enjoyable. So take advantage of that by batching your writing!
READ MORE >>> How to write the perfect blog post
Blog post editing
If you are going to batch up your blog post writing, it makes sense to batch up your blog post editing.
One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to write and edit their blog posts simultaneously – trying to do both these activities at once makes writing a blog post a very slow and torturous process.
When you write your blog posts, write freely without worrying about mistakes and typos. Then leave your blog posts for a number of hours (or preferably overnight). The next day, tackle the editing of your blog posts as a whole separate activity.
Keeping writing and editing as two separate activities will make both activities quicker, easier and more enjoyable
And so many more…
There are many, many more blogging activities that are better done in batches – blogging accounts, monthly planning, blog related reading, replying to blog comments, analysing blogging statistics, improving SEO and site speed, pinning on Pinterest, writing blog newsletters and much, much more!
Over to you
Do you batch some of your blogging tasks? If so, which ones?
Or is this all new to you? If so, which blogging tasks do you plan on batching going forward?
Let me know in the comments below!
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