We all want to get more done in less time – especially when it comes to running a business without neglecting our families. Today I’m sharing why and how to batch in business so you can get more done in less time – without cutting corners along the way. And I’m even sharing how you can apply this strategy at home as well! Sound like something you want? Well then, let’s get started!
Links for This Episode
- Free Goal Planning Resource
- Mama Business Strategy Session
- Website Audit & Design Services
- Instagram: @sarahlbrumley
Additional Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #22: How to Create a Sales Funnel That Actually Works
- #19: 4 Ways to Repurpose Content for Your Business Blog
- #5: Simple Strategies to Help Maximize Your Time as a Busy Mom
- #4: Your Mama Business Needs a Content Calendar – ASAP!
How to Batch in Business + Take Back Your Time
Well hey there and welcome to another episode of the Mama Business Podcast. I’m Sarah and I’m so excited to have you with me today as we talk about the topic of getting more done in less time.
And…before we actually jump into this strategy, I want to let you know that while this is a productivity tool, you know me – I’m all about growing a business WITHOUT sacrificing my family and that means that, even though I can get something done faster, doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to add more to my plate to fill the time.
You know what I mean, right? If I use this strategy and suddenly I’ve freed up an additional hour in my week – that doesn’t mean that I should necessarily fill that hour with something because it’s available. So, just know that I’m not saying, “Get more productive so you can do more…”. Instead, I’m saying, “Get more productive so you can focus on other things that really matter to you – like your family, friends, or achieving a goal.”
Okay – so I’ll jump off of my soap box now.
The strategy I want to share with you today is called batching. It’s the act of creating or working on similar types of content or work in batches. Similar to baking cookies, right? If you know you need three batches of cookies, you triple the recipe and make them all at once. You don’t make one batch and then clean it all up only to start again on repeat, right? The same type of strategy can be used as you are growing your online business.
So, knowing that, I’m going to talk about the three categories of batching I use in my own business and some specific ways this plays out. You probably want to grab a pen and a piece of paper or open the notes app on your phone so you can follow along and apply this to your own business.
Category #1: Start By Focusing on Strategy
The first category I apply batching to is business strategy. Now, obviously every business is different, but there is always some kind of strategy to plan out. Whether that’s content in the form of blogs or podcast episodes, email marketing strategy, social media strategy, strategy related to hiring, creating processes within the business, or even ordering product. And the thing about strategy is that it’s often something that you can create once for a specific period of time or a specific project – like a course – and then not have to recreate it day after day or week after week.
My favorite example of using batching in business is when it comes to a content marketing strategy. Depending on the business, this could include blog posts, podcast episodes, YouTube or other video content, social media, email marketing, and more…pretty much anything related to turning cold leads into paying clients and customers.
In my case, I could start each week with a strategy session to determine what I’ll talk about on the podcast and share with my subscribers.
But, if I want to save some time and streamline things, then batching is the answer.
Instead of planning out my content weekly, I choose to complete this process in batches. Sometimes I plan out all of my content a month at a time, but – if I’m really on top of it – then my preference is to have a plan for an entire quarter. Goals, right?
Either way, I sit down and brainstorm topics that I can use throughout that time period. I consider how the topics I might choose will play into any product or service launches I have on my schedule as well as holidays and other perceived interruptions. Then, I add those podcast ideas to the calendar and jot down notes about emails I want to send to my list or things I might consider for social media posts.
I’m don’t know about you, but the beauty of this process for me is that once I have the ideas percolating, then there are always more that spill out as well. In fact, if I’m sitting down to brainstorm a month’s worth of content, most of the time I’ll walk away with many more ideas than I need. That’s a great place to be in for the next batching session. Plus, when I do it this way, I’m able to clearly see where there might be holes as far as topics I need to cover or things that my clients need to know.
Sure, I might spend a one- to two-hour session putting my calendar together for the quarter, but I’m saving a ton of time by not starting over and again each week.
So, the first way I use batching is in creating a strategy. And that leads us to the second way I use batching and that’s in creation.
Category #2: Create Your Content in Batches
Once you have your strategy in place, the next thing to batch is the actual content. Now that I know what topics I’m going to talk about on the podcast each week, it’s time to create the content for those podcasts. In my case, this will be writing outlines for each podcast episode and recording them which, for me, is a two-part batching session. First, I spend one session getting all of my episodes outlined. Then, I click record.
Depending on the clarity I got during my strategy session, I may already have my outlines ready to go that allows me to simply hit record, but most of the time, I spend time getting those completed before I record the episodes.
There’s no wrong way to do this. You might choose to complete the script and go directly into recording. OR to write the outlines for multiple episodes prior to recording them all in one batch.
The key is to find what works best for you.
In my case, I know that getting my actual recording time has to happen during nap time or another quiet time in my day. That means that time is valuable and I don’t want to spend it cleaning up an outline or doing work that could be done with noise in the background. When I sit down to record, I know I’m turning my microphone on, opening my outline on my computer and clicking record over and over until I’m finished or someone wakes up and needs my attention.
Batching allows me to maximize the use of that quiet time and produce quality episodes.
Need Help with Your Business Strategy?
I hope you are loving this episode. I just want to let you know that I have just a few more openings for Mama Business Strategy Sessions for 2022. Here’s the deal: in order to have a successful business, you have to have paying clients and customers. That means, knowing who your ideal client is and how to reach them, understanding why your client should choose you over the competition, and designing marketing systems that work to generate leads – over and over again – without sacrificing your family. That’s exactly what a one-hour Mama Business Strategy is designed to help you do. After the session, you’ll be able to make your first sale (or 10th) without feeling salesy, sleazy, or annoying everyone you know on social media. Overcome decision paralysis when it comes to the practical and technical side of running your business. And sleep well at night knowing you don’t have to do “all the things” in order to be successful. Plus, you’ll know the next right action step to take to jumpstart the upcoming year. Sound like something you need? Schedule your session today at sarahbrumley.com/strategy.
Alright, quick recap: the first way I use batching is in creating that strategy for a month or quarter – and the second way I use batching is in actually creating the content. That gets us to the third strategy which is to use batching to put it all into play.
Category #3: Execution
Like I said, there’s no wrong way to split up your batching sessions. But, the final way I like to use this idea of batching is in the execution of the details. Using my podcasting example, this could include any of the following:
- Editing the podcast episode
- Uploading it to my podcast host
- Creating the show notes
- Adding links or related resources
- Scheduling a social media post
- Writing an email to my followers
…and other things.
I might do these all individually for each episode, or I might choose to do one step – like uploading all of the audio files to the podcast host – at a time. With the exception of posting to social media, I tend to finish all of the detail work for one podcast episode before moving on to the next. BUT – the idea of batching DOES come into play in that I set aside time to get all of this done at the same time or within one day.
Honestly, my favorite thing about this is that I can have windows open in my browser for all of the tasks. I can upload the audio, click over to write the email, edit the show notes, add links, and schedule it all for episode 1. Then, I can just click back over to the already open windows and do the same thing for episode 2. That alone saves me a ton of time and energy.
Additional Batching Ideas
Now, I’ve walked you through just ONE of the ways I like to batch within my business. Some of the other ways you might think to do this could include:
Bookkeeping – do it all at once at the end of the month rather than constantly worrying about categorizing transactions.
Email Marketing – even if you don’t have a blog or podcast, you can write four emails for the month, schedule them at the same time, and not have to revisit that until the following month.
Social Media – use this structure from strategy to execution and put together an entire month or even quarter’s worth of posts. Of course, you can leave yourself some space for the “incidentals”, but at least you won’t be left guessing what to post and when.
Purchasing – if you run a product based business, maybe you spend some time batching your purchasing efforts.
Client Work – depending on what type of business you run, you might consider batching your client work. For example, you might choose one day of the week to work on client work of a certain type and another for meetings. The sky is the limit with this one.
This can even work at home in a couple of ways:
Appointments: Set one day of the week or one timeframe of the day to have appointments or take phone calls.
Food prep or grocery shopping: I feel like this one is pretty much a no brainer, but why not make it a point to prep your food one day per week or get that grocery shopping done once per week. By doing so, you take your focus off of that and can easily place it elsewhere. Plus, you’ll save time and gas money by not having to go back and forth to the grocery store multiple times so that’s a win for your budget, too!
Alrighty then – that brings us to the action part of this episode. I’m a huge proponent of taking action, because action is where the dreams turn into the reality.
Today’s action step is this: determine how you can use batching either at home or in business to free up a little more time. Because, mama – your time is valuable. I know it. You know it. And that little one that wants to curl up and snuggle with a well-worn board book knows it.
I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So DM me on Instagram and let me know what you will batch in this upcoming season so that I can cheer you on throughout the process. Because, mama, I am cheering you on.
Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you next time.