I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you! A couple months ago, I implemented some new batch working habits and it changed my work days dramatically. The results were immediate and shocking and in my (almost 12?? or is it almost 11? haha) years of blogging I have felt my most productive ever!
A couple months ago, I listened to (which is great, but this episode is especially helpful!). I have heard about batch working for years, but never fully committed to trying it. One of the things Jenna talked about in her episode was how she prepared ahead for her maternity leave, which was something I really wanted to do. The last time I took maternity leave, I only left a couple blog posts in the drafts, but I got lucky because it was over the holidays when we typically take a little time off anyway. But this time I wanted to stay present in the blog content and leave a bigger buffer so my co-workers didn’t feel my absence as much.
So I tried it, and I LOVED it. Here’s a bit about my experience!
First of all, I had a goal to write 20 blog posts ahead of time that will go up during my maternity leave. I figured it would take me several months of adding an extra post or two per week to get this done. But I decided to plan all the posts ahead of time. It took a lot of time (a whole eight-hour workday) to get 20 ideas I was excited to write about and that I was already prepared (or mostly prepared) to shoot. So the first phase of the batch work was the planning.
Then in my next shoot (I typically do two shoots a month with my photographer and we shoot 80-90% of my blog posts in these two days), I was in TOTAL shock when we were able to shoot an extra 10 blog posts in one day (in addition to what I already needed for the coming month). We did it again in my next shoot the following week. And just like that, all my maternity leave posts were shot.
It actually took more time to plan all the posts than it did to shoot them.
Then I spent about two days writing the posts (which I already had outlines for from my planning day). It’s hard to say exactly how much time since I was also working on my regular posts, but I wrote around 20 posts in two days, which has NEVER happened before in all our years of blogging.
This experience made me realize A. How much I still LOVE blogging and B. How much I can accomplish in just a few days if I spend more time upfront planning. The only really big difference was the planning time—I would normally never spend a whole workday planning, but now I will forever schedule at least one FULL planning day per month since I see what a huge productivity boost it created.
I think in the past I had an unfair bias that if I worked in bulk the quality would be lower, but as I did this I realized that the quality was just as good, if not better. I had been getting in my own way for so long by only working on one or a few blog posts at a time.
After this experience I felt so powerful—like, unstoppable!
I went through my schedule and started to find everything I could batch together. I quickly felt like I had more time in my workdays and that I was consistently finishing my work on time or early, which has always been a struggle for me.
If you’re someone who struggles with feeling overwhelmed or is easily distracted, I cannot recommend this method enough. It may not work for everyone’s job, but there are still probably lots of parts of your life where you can try it.
Batch working totally changed my life! I feel so much more confident in what I can accomplish. My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this 10 years ago!!! But I’ll definitely be doing it for the next 10.
xx – Helen