How Batch Working Changed My Business

female entrepreneur sat at laptop batch working

Cast your memory back two weeks ago and you might have seen a post on social media (I like to spread my struggles across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…Friends Reunited) about how I was struggling with workload,productivity, and motivation.

To be honest, it wasn’t a sudden change. It’s like I transitioned from the motivated months of summer, through to September where I  had my most profitable month to date, and from then on it’s been a slow decline of productivity.

Except, I probably had an equal, if not more, amount of work that needed completing. You see, when it comes to my business, I don’t just run Apartment Number 4, the blog.

I produce a monthly digital interiors magazine (quick plug, sign up here), I run a content creation service for brands with a growing number of clients, I run an interior e-design service, and I’m putting together my first e-course, Pin to Win, on how to maximise Pinterest for your blog (whoops, another quick plug – find out more right here).

I juggle many a plate through the day. And that’s not taking into account the freelance styling jobs I do, the press days and events I go to, managing my own social media accounts, and keeping on top of my inbox. LOL to having an actual social life.

I’d reached the point of having so much work, I did nothing. I had work piling up and I literally sat on the sofa and just stared at my laptop. For hours.

It was only when I did reach out on social media that other people said they often suffered from the same thing. I wasn’t the only idiot.

So last Sunday, when I was having a GYST (Get Your Sh!t Together) Day, I decided to shake things up and try something new.

Enter batch working.

The number one reason I was struggling was that I was completely overwhelmed with the sheer number of tasks whizzing around in my brain on a daily basis.

I’d start one job, then quick log on to Twitter to share a post, before snapping a pic for Instagram, going back to writing, hopping on to Pinterest, answering some emails, back to writing, wondering about a client’s moodboard, deciding to pitch to a new brand, back to writing. I’m frazzled just writing this.

So, on that Sunday I sat down and I planned my week as the following:

Monday – I only concentrate on Apartment Number 4 blog posts, allowing me to create three solid posts for the week ahead, including photography (if the weather permits – damn you grey skies).

Tuesday – This is social media content day, where I schedule all tweets, Facebook posts, shoot Instagram pictures ahead of time, and schedule pins for Pinterest in Tailwind for the full week ahead.

Wednesday – Today is dedicated to my content creation clients.

Thursday – Thursday’s are all about pitching to potential new clients, working on any e-design jobs I have, and tying up any loose ends/meetings/interviews I may have.

Friday – Finally, the end of the week is solely for 4Magazine. The second I wake up, I know I’m in editor mode and I can focus purely on creating my magazine.

Last week was the first week I put this plan into place, and I can genuinely say it has changed the way I work for good. Yes, things will crop up – like press events or shoot days – that will change the schedule a little bit, but as soon as I knew my social media and blog posts were prepped for the week ahead, my brain fog lifted, and I felt a sense of calm all week.

I even completed some long-running projects before the deadline and launched an e-course. So, you know, a fairly productive week

Here are some reasons I think batch working could change the way you run your blog or business:

  • You can put your full focus into one task at a time, instead of giving it half of your attention and in turn, doing half a job.
  • You will reign as the Queen of Organisation, like the feeling when you tick something off your to-do list but only x 1000.
  • It allows you to plan in advance so timely events – such as Cyber Monday, Easter, Business Anniversaries – aren’t forgotten about until the last minute.
  • You start every day with a purpose, instead of feeling consumed with the 20 zillion projects you have on – and, erm, doing none of them *cough.
  • You can manage your client’s expectations. When I talk to e-design clients now, for example, they know on Thursday I will be working on their project. My content creation clients, meanwhile, know they will always get blog posts sent on a Wednesday.

So how do you implement batch working into your life? Simple, write down the tasks that you have to do on a weekly basis to run your business/blog/department at work etc. Batch working applies to every single aspect of work, so don’t think it can only be utilised if you’re self-employed or have a blog.

Once you have a list of every single task (and I mean, every single task) you need to do on the regular, group them together. Once that’s done, work out which day is best to do each one.

For example, I left scheduling social media until Tuesday, because I put my own blog content creation at the highest priority on a Monday morning over that. I know from patterns in the past that Tuesday is my least productive day, so I play to that strength and use that time wisely.

The key then is to switch off your brain to absolutely anything else other than the task in hand. It’s hard at first, especially if you’re used to jumping from one thing to the next but trust me – once you get that first week out of the way, you’ll never look back.

I’ve even gone from looking at my emails every 30 minutes to 3 x daily and that has helped immensely. In fact, if you’re going to take one tip away from today, let it be that.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed at the number of priorities you have on a daily basis? Is batch working something you’d like to try? I’d love to know your experiences, especially if you’ve struggled like I have.

In case you missed it: How To Get Motivated & Smash Your Goals | How To Deal With Rejection | How To Beat The Winter Blues

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6 Comments

  1. 11.28.18

    I so need to do this. I’m such a flitter and it totally frazzles my brain. One of the reasons I’d find this hard, is that some days… I’m just not in a writing mood, or really have the urge to design a space… so I’m very much led by my gut and what I feel like doing at the time… like a child! But yes, the checking emails 2 or 3 times a day instead of jumping straight on when one pings in is defo a winner!! Good luck with your new streamlined working week… really hope it helps!!x

  2. 11.29.18

    This is such a brilliant idea lovely, thank you for sharing! I’ve been feeling like such a failure for months now and I really needed a bit of a boost to get myself organised more. I need to be more productive and not waste hours scrolling on IG making myself feel worse and then wondering where on earth my time has gone! haha! x
    Beyond Tired

  3. 11.29.18

    Oh my god YES to batch working! I have been doing this for probably around a year and a half and while there can be some cross-over here and there, it’s helped me so much in just trying to maintain some kind of balance. I have days where I only work on client stuff, I have days when I only work on my own blog and Fridays are always left a bit flexible so that I can work on anything I wasn’t able to get to during the week, tie up loose ends, respond to emails I’ve neglected etc. I’ve even finally managed to get the odd weekend off completely (its taken me nearly 4 years to get to that point!) 😉 xx

  4. 12.2.18

    Love this post. I really need to sort my schedule out each week as it’s so all over the place and I find myself getting nothing done too! Going to give this a try next week

  5. 12.11.18
    Karly said:

    This was fab, so so useful as im exactly the same, I don’t prioritise one thing so I end up trying to do 10 things and then get so overwhelmed I don’t actually do any! I’m trying to get more into blogging and growing my social accounts so feel like I have to give them constant attention, but I need to lear to dedicate days to them and schedule posts instead! Thank you for the advice 🙂

  6. 6.4.19
    Saffron said:

    This is actually a super idea, dedicating different days to wear different hats gives you a sense of direction and achievement that’s easy to lose when you’re freelance or working on a side hustle. Just don’t forget a day off!