There was a time I was wildly fascinated with the lifestyle of the French. I wanted to know everything about their lifestyle: how they dress, how they live, how they raise children, what they eat…everything. So, I started following a few bloggers who write about the “Parisian Chic” life. In one of the posts, the writer mentioned how French women build exercise into their daily routines. They walk everywhere. They take the stairs. They grocery shop several times a week. Wait, what?! Call me lazy but I don’t want to step out of the house multiple times a day. When I am out, I better finish all (or most) of the errands, return home, and kick off my shoes. I grocery shop weekly. I go to the gym directly after dropping my son to the school, I visit in in-laws on the way to or back from somewhere else. That’s me, batch processing my life!
And I follow the same principles in my blogging life too. I batch process my blog production.
What is Batch Processing?
Batch processing, as the name suggests, is a technique to process tasks in batches. It’s based on one and only one principle: single tasking. In today’s day and age, everyone multitasks. When I was still part of the corporate world until five years ago, I was even evaluated on how well I could multitask (can I just say I rocked multitasking?). But let’s be honest: I used to slip up every now and then. Recently, I have seen a lot more articles urging people to adopt a single-tasking mindset.
Remember, batch processing is not a process, it is a technique. It simply helps you group similar tasks that can be processed together. For example, you may choose to write your SEO even before writing your post, or you may choose to create your images before writing the SEO. These tasks are not necessarily linear (it helps me though to keep it linear but that’s the “process” that I follow—more on this later).
Benefits of Batch Processing
Once you start batch processing, you will see the benefits within a very short time. Batch processing:
- Helps focus: Working on a single task at a time helps bring focus to the task. When you are switching between tasks that require the use of different faculties/abilities, it messes up your concentration. Conversely, while batch processing, you are using only one set of faculties and your brain can supply all the juice to the required faculties.
- Improves productivity: When you batch similar tasks, it builds rhythm and improves your productivity. On the other hand, if you are constantly switching between dissimilar tasks, your brain has to reorient itself to the current task.
- Saves time: When your brain doesn’t need to switch modes constantly, it helps save time. Your brain knows the requirements and parameters within which you are working and it’s already optimized to deliver at those levels.
How to Batch Process Your Blogging Business
Quite simply you break down your blogging tasks to the last detail and group them for similarity. Let’s say on the 1st of every month (ideally before), you research all the topics you want to write about during that month. Spend 1 hour coming up with as many topic ideas as you can. Note that you are NOT focusing on ONE topic idea but several topic ideas at a time. That’s batch processing.
Similarly, identify other tasks that you can group but need not necessarily relate to a single blog post or project. Here are some ideas:
- Populate the content calendar for a month
- Edit and proofread multiple blog posts for the month
- Record multiple YouTube videos in one sitting (ok, you can change your shirt for every video if you want!)
- Schedule social media posts for the week
- Write invoices
- Respond to emails OR comments
The options are aplenty.
Once you have identified the task groups, you want to schedule them on your calendar and build a routine around it. For example, I group tasks and then schedule them by days. Here’s a screenshot of my “sample” Trello board:
- On Sundays, I come up with several topic ideas. Yes, my work week begins on a Sunday. It takes me about 1 hour and it’s nothing more than a brain dump.
- On Mondays, I select 2-3 topics and begin researching. I note down the key points and build a wireframe for each post. I also decide if a post warrants a content upgrade. I spend 4 hours doing this.
- On Tuesdays, I write the first draft of the posts. I do not worry about the formatting or grammar. It’s a free-form writing day. I spend 4-5 hours on this task.
- On Wednesdays, I go in with a hawk’s eye and edit my content. I have been trying to write the long-form content of late so it takes a lot of time and patience to edit.
- On Thursdays, I create content upgrades, if applicable. If not, I use the time for self-education or administrative tasks.
- On Fridays, I create the images, fill in the SEO details, and schedule publish. Another thing: social media. Right now, I am very bad at it but I am trying to become more visible on social media. So, with whatever time I save on Fridays, I plan to schedule social media posts for the week going forward.
- On Saturdays, I spend about 1 hour to draft the week’s newsletter (no subscribers to read them though :-P)
I am only three-months into the whole blogging system, and I am still learning. In addition, I am a stay-at-home mother with only about 4 hours to spare in a day. Additionally, I like to keep my weekends as open as possible. I know that is the opposite of a hard hustle, but if I cannot spend time with the ones for whom I am doing this, what is the point of doing it at all? I wrote about my new blogger frustrations in an earlier post. Depending on your unique life situation, you may do more or less and take more or less time doing each task.
So, there you have it: how I use batch processing in my blogging routine.
What your blogging routine? What processes and techniques do you use to work on your amazing blog?
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