If you feel like you have been chasing your tail trying to get tasks done, you may want to consider time batching in your business to be more productive. I’ve recently set up my days and weeks by batching. The results and sense of accomplishment are amazing.
How many times have you been working on a project and an email notification comes across your computer? You stop work. Click over to your email account, read the email, and because it won’t take long, you decide to answer the email?
By the time you look for an answer to the email and respond, you’ve lost your groove on the project you were originally working on. Not only do you lose the time it took to answer the email, but you also lose time by having to refocus on the project.
For me, this was happening more often than not.
I used to add tasks to my calendar as they came up. I’d add them to my list of things to complete that day or the next. Those things got done, but I wasn’t feeling like I was doing anything that would grow my business. I wasn’t taking the time to focus on anything more than small tasks that come up randomly.
Something needed to change, but what?
That’s when I remembered some articles I had briefly skimmed in the past. I decided to go back and revisit those articles to see if I could refine my time management system. I wanted, and needed, to feel more purposeful in my business.
What is time batching?
Essentially, time batching in your business creates boundaries around the time you have available to focus on a specific type of task. With boundaries around what you work on and when, you can focus without distractions. Studies have shown that time batching improves productivity by up to 40%.
In my business, I batch my days by the type of work I do each day. Right now, I set aside Mondays and Wednesdays to focus on client work. I spend Tuesdays and Thursdays taking calls and completing small tasks related to my business. On Fridays, I focus on completing tasks and projects that will grow and scale my own business.
When small tasks do come up, I add it to the next day when I will do that type of work and forget it. No more multitasking for me! In fact, I’ve been able to work ahead and have some things completed weeks in advance.
Of course, you’ll always run into a situation in which you have to complete a task immediately. But as you get more organized and can work ahead, it won’t be as much of a crisis to take the time to complete the task as it once was.
You may also want to let your clients know that you are time batching and focusing on their work only on specific days. Setting boundaries with clients so they aren’t always asking you to put out fires is good to implement at the beginning of your relationship. If they know you always work on their projects on Tuesday, they can make sure they send you any relevant information on Monday.
How I Got Started Time Batching
When I first decided to give time batching a try, I made a list of which tasks I worked on throughout the week. Gradually I noticed a pattern of the type of work I completed each week.
Mondays can be a bit hectic. You’re often dealing with what came up over the weekend. Taking calls on Mondays would only interrupt my train of thought while working. Because of this, I have blocked all calls on Mondays. This is a day for me to focus on client work.
On Tuesday, while I wait for my clients to respond to the work I did on Monday, I hold discovery calls and complete the smaller tasks related to my business. It’s also a day I can have a video coffee chat with my clients if we need a face-to-face update on something happening in their business.
Wednesday is client work again. I can finish up projects that I began on Monday and make sure things are set up to get through the weekend. Thursday is another day set aside for calls and small business tasks.
Because I want my business to continue growing, I knew I needed a day to focus on my own business goals and dreams. Before time batching, these tasks kept getting pushed to the back burner because they didn’t seem as necessary. It was also hard to find large chunks of time in which to focus. As a result, my business wasn’t growing.
Now I not only love Fridays because it is the end of the week, but also because I can be creative and feel productive in growing my own business. Projects are getting completed and things are moving forward. I’ve found my groove again.
In addition to batching my days, I also do other things to help remove distractions from my work time. I turn off my email notifications on my computer. Now I only check my email when I finish the task at hand. Another distraction I’ve removed is my phone. I turn it off completely and place it across the room. Now I can’t see or hear new notifications.
All of these changes to my days and weeks have helped my focus. I feel better prepared each day. And most importantly, I feel like I’m able to really focus on growing my own business. Time batching in my business truly has made me feel more productive.
Ready To Give It A Try?
When I first start working with my clients, I encourage them to consider time batching in their business so they will also feel more productive. It’s one of the services I offer.
If you’re feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and not feeling productive, I encourage you to give time batching in your business a try. Stop trying to multitask.
Start by listing everything you do in a typical week. Then list each of those tasks under the type of task it falls under. You may have tasks that are related to social media, daily operations, blog posts, or client work.
Once you’ve done that, think about how you can order those tasks throughout the week and month. What makes the most sense?
Then try out your time batching schedule. You may have to tweak it over time by rearranging the tasks you focus on each day until you find what works for you and your business.
Whatever you do, stick with it. You’ll find that you become more productive. You may also find that you’re getting things done more quickly which allows you to work ahead. Don’t give up until you find what works for you!
P.S. New to the idea of time management in business? Head to my blog page to read my other articles in my time management series.