Updated: Apr 1, 2021
You’ve sat down ready to focus on writing that blog post when you remember that you haven’t updated your Instagram account so you spend time posting a pic and writing a caption and then switch your attention back to your blog. Then an urgent email pops up on your screen that you need to respond to. Now, back to writing that blog post...
This is how a lot of us approach our work. Before you know it the day is over and while you’ve been busy, you haven’t actually checked off those big tasks you were hoping to complete that would move you closer to your goals.
You might think by switching between tasks, otherwise known as multitasking, you’re being efficient but in reality you might be losing a lot of time and creating more stress for yourself. So how can you work more effectively to get those important tasks done?
Batch Your Work
This is something I’ve only recently started to implement and although it can take some initial planning, so far the results have led to greater efficiency and feeling less frantic. Sounds good, right?
So what is batching? It’s when you carve out a chunk of time, or even a whole day, to dedicate to one specific task or a group of related tasks. For example, you might dedicate Monday mornings to working on blog posts for your website, Wednesdays might be a whole day dedicated to seeing clients face to face and Friday afternoons might be for finding images to go with your upcoming social media posts.
By concentrating on one task at a time you’re working in a state of focus rather than constantly splitting your attention between unrelated tasks. You don’t need to batch everything. You can choose to batch a few things. Just make sure those things will contribute to moving the needle in your business.
Break Your Tasks Down. Then Break Them Down Some More.
Once you’ve decided on the things you’ll batch, break them down into smaller tasks, and then break them down some more. For example, if your goal is to update your website. Instead of writing a task on your to do list that says “update website” you might break this down into a task like “audit each page of the website with what needs to be updated”. Then break that down further.
Your first task might be “take an audit of the About page” then the next task might be “audit the Our Story page” and so on. Breaking goals down into smaller tasks is crucial for accomplishing your goals and not getting overwhelmed which can then turn into being unmotivated and easily distracted.
Create a structure where you’re held accountable for achieving your tasks. You might have your team hold you accountable. Or if you’re a solopreneur, one method I’ve found to be particularly helpful is to be part of an accountability circle. This means having regular catch ups with other people who also want to be held accountable for achieving their goals. You commit to check-in with each other regularly to make sure milestones are being met. You don’t have to meet in person, you can check-in with your accountability circle through apps like WeChat or WhatsApp.
Plan For The Week Ahead
Instead of taking time each morning to work out what tasks need to be completed for that day, try planning out your week on the Sunday before. Open up your weekly planner or online scheduler and plan your week by writing down the tasks that need to be completed for each day. By doing this on a Sunday you’ll know exactly what you need to focus on when you wake up on Monday morning and you won’t need to spend time figuring this out. You’ll also know what tasks you need to work on for each day of that week.
Surround Yourself With A network
Find a community or network with positive people who are in the same boat as you and connect with them. Your network can be there to bounce ideas off, to learn from, to share your challenges with and to feel supported. Having support is crucial for motivation. So, what’s one thing you can implement this week that will help you to focus on those tasks that will ultimately get you closer to your bigger goals? By Rachel Barac, Founder BOSS LADY