Have you ever proudly stated that you are an amazing multitasker? We used to, too! But did you know that multitasking — switching back and forth between multiple tasks — takes up to 40% more time to get these tasks done, and can reduce your short-term IQ by 15 points?
Multitasking takes an unnecessary toll on your mental energy, so we advocate for focusing on one thing at a time and batching content to save not only time but your sanity. Batching is simply organizing your work into types of tasks, then focusing on each task group in one work session.
Let’s say you’re preparing some social media content. You need to create some graphics, shoot a couple of short videos, edit photographs, and schedule posts. Or blog posts — there’s topic planning, image sourcing, drafting, and editing. Rather than work on one blog post or social media post at a time, try organizing your time so that you’re working on similar tasks during one work session. Let’s take a look.
First, Are You Convinced That You Can Efficiently Multitask?
Here are some signs that you’re not using your time as efficiently as you may think:
- You feel stressed just thinking about work or creating any type of content.
- You’re often scurrying at the last minute to post or publish something.
- You have 20 tabs open on your computer … on both monitors.
- You feel scattered.
- You’re making silly mistakes or forgetting details.
- You feel burned out.
- You don’t feel accomplished or fulfilled after creating content.
How to Batch Content
We encourage you to make a list of all the types of content you create, then break each type down into a list of tasks or assets you need to complete that content. Here are three types of content that people in our industry often create, and how you might batch tasks efficiently:
- Blog Posts: If your goal is to post one blog post per week, then during the 4th week of the previous month, break down your work into chunks to get all of them done. Plan your topics on Monday, draft on Tuesday, source images on Wednesday, create graphics to promote your posts on social media on Thursday, edit on Friday, and schedule on Saturday. You’re done for the next month.
- Social Media: Have a schedule for what you post on certain days of the week (Monday is blog posts, Tuesday is a quick tip w/graphic, Wednesday is a link to an interesting article, Thursday is a peek behind the scenes of what your work is like, and Friday is any type of promotion you have). Now create all of your Monday posts and schedule them, then Tuesday, and so on.
- Video: If you do any video for your work, the planning process is the same. Brainstorm your video ideas for the next week (or month), make a master list of any props or materials you need for all of them, then source your materials, shoot short videos one after the other, then edit all of them.
How the Heck Do I Organize All of This?
At The Garden of Words, we’re big fans of organization. We don’t always hit the mark perfectly (we’re human, after all), but we use a number of project management programs/platforms to help us stay organized and all on the same page. These can help you if you work on a team or solo:
- Monday.com: Monday.com is the backbone of our workday! Each task has its own “pulse” that has a due date, description, and documents attached in the “updates” section. When the task is complete, mark it as “done” and file it away. It has tons of bells and whistles but can be a very easy and visual way to plan your work.
- Google docs/sheets: This is our primary tool for planning content. Straight-up planning is often done on Google Docs, with Sheets (spreadsheets) used for more detailed/complex planning.
- Dropbox: Yep, good old Dropbox is a great tool for keeping your material filed, particularly if you have other people you work with or need to share something with an assistant.
- Canva: More than being a graphic design platform, Canva can help you organize your fonts, logo, brand colors, etc., so when it comes time to create your graphics, you’re not searching around for what you need. You can also create templates to avoid reinventing the wheel each time you go to create.
Bottom line: You will always have that day or time when a post is done at the last minute without a lot of planning. It happens to all of us. But we’ve found that when we do our best to plan ahead and batch content creation, we enjoy our work more and feel great about having a system that works for us.