How Batch Working Fights Burnout
We are a small team who serve many clients.
And you are probably someone who has many responsibilities, passions, and dreams. Us too.
So the question is...
How in the world do we serve, show up for others, and follow our many passions WITHOUT getting burned out?
We don’t have the absolute cure but we do have two ways that help us. Time Locks and Batch Working.
There are many studies that show the extent to which we are distracted as a society and how much that costs us in terms of time and wellbeing. We look at our phones 70-100 times a day and interruptions cost us over 200 minutes per day. This is why distraction-free time locks are absolutely necessary.
As a team, we look at our tasks and projects and schedule time locks where we focus on that one task until complete. Before starting the time lock you need to do 3 things:
Decide the length of time (30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours)
Determine what “complete” means for the task
Communicate to the appropriate people so they can help you honor that time lock
When you are in a time lock you don’t answer emails, texts, phone calls, or have drop-in visitors. We silent our notifications or minimize our email inbox. What you will find is that you finish the task faster than you normally do when you are distracted. You gain time and that is valuable!
I usually time lock my most creative tasks or tasks that require deep thought, accuracy, or writing. Other members of our team might time lock content creation for a specific client so they can capture the client’s brand voice and style.
We have used batch working (or processing) for a while now but in the last year it has been mandatory to get our work done and done well.
Each position, company, and industry will have different tasks and projects that can be batched and completed at one time. For some, they can batch their email responses, for others (real estate agents) they can’t batch emails or texts. They need to be available more frequently. But they can batch other parts of their jobs.
Think about your most repetitive tasks - can those be batched together at one time?
Think about tasks that take up time each day - can those be batched on one day a week?
Think about the tasks you usually procrastinate - can you schedule a weekly or monthly time to do them once?
Here are a few tasks and projects we batch on a weekly and monthly basis:
Social Media Planning: we plan out concepts one month at a time but I write captions for the week ahead in 1 hour on Sunday afternoons.
Reviewing Work: When I have a lot of design or written work to review from the team on Asana (our project management system), I will batch when I look at everything during the day so that I am not constantly jumping between reviewing, creating, meetings, etc.
Checking Email: I check my email regularly throughout the day, but I do pick times that I will work through my inbox. I am working on answering an email when I see it, versus coming back to it which makes it an added item on my to-do list.
Photography or Videography Content: We will plan photo and video shoots so that we can capture a large amount of content that can be used in many applications for a long period of time. When we do short videos, we will record up to 5 during a shoot . When we do a photoshoot, we have a detailed shot list so we can get as many shots in a 1-2 hour period of time. We also identify who needs to be at a shoot so that we can get the most content at one time. We will get photography, boomerangs, time lapses, and short iphone videos. This takes planning but it saves us in the long run.
Client Designs: When a client has a longer list of items that we are designing, we will work on all of their content at one time. Dedicating a block of time to one client and having their current projects pulled up on screen at once helps us work more efficiently and consistently.
These are just two ways that we are working toward being well.
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