How Batch Working Changed My Life

I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you! A couple months ago, I implemented some new batch working habits and it changed my work days dramatically. The results were immediate and shocking and in my (almost 12?? or is it almost 11? haha) years of blogging I have felt my most productive ever!

A couple months ago, I listened to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast on batch working (which is great, but this episode is especially helpful!). I have heard about batch working for years, but never fully committed to trying it. One of the things Jenna talked about in her episode was how she prepared ahead for her maternity leave, which was something I really wanted to do. The last time I took maternity leave, I only left a couple blog posts in the drafts, but I got lucky because it was over the holidays when we typically take a little time off anyway. But this time I wanted to stay present in the blog content and leave a bigger buffer so my co-workers didn’t feel my absence as much.

So I tried it, and I LOVED it. Here’s a bit about my experience!

First of all, I had a goal to write 20 blog posts ahead of time that will go up during my maternity leave. I figured it would take me several months of adding an extra post or two per week to get this done. But I decided to plan all the posts ahead of time. It took a lot of time (a whole eight-hour workday) to get 20 ideas I was excited to write about and that I was already prepared (or mostly prepared) to shoot. So the first phase of the batch work was the planning.

Then in my next shoot (I typically do two shoots a month with my photographer and we shoot 80-90% of my blog posts in these two days), I was in TOTAL shock when we were able to shoot an extra 10 blog posts in one day (in addition to what I already needed for the coming month). We did it again in my next shoot the following week. And just like that, all my maternity leave posts were shot.

It actually took more time to plan all the posts than it did to shoot them.

Then I spent about two days writing the posts (which I already had outlines for from my planning day). It’s hard to say exactly how much time since I was also working on my regular posts, but I wrote around 20 posts in two days, which has NEVER happened before in all our years of blogging.

This experience made me realize A. How much I still LOVE blogging and B. How much I can accomplish in just a few days if I spend more time upfront planning. The only really big difference was the planning time—I would normally never spend a whole workday planning, but now I will forever schedule at least one FULL planning day per month since I see what a huge productivity boost it created.

I think in the past I had an unfair bias that if I worked in bulk the quality would be lower, but as I did this I realized that the quality was just as good, if not better. I had been getting in my own way for so long by only working on one or a few blog posts at a time.

After this experience I felt so powerful—like, unstoppable!

I went through my schedule and started to find everything I could batch together. I quickly felt like I had more time in my workdays and that I was consistently finishing my work on time or early, which has always been a struggle for me.

If you’re someone who struggles with feeling overwhelmed or is easily distracted, I cannot recommend this method enough. It may not work for everyone’s job, but there are still probably lots of parts of your life where you can try it.

Batch working totally changed my life! I feel so much more confident in what I can accomplish. My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this 10 years ago!!! But I’ll definitely be doing it for the next 10.

xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I have been using batch working for a while and agree with you that it not only increases productivity and freshens up flow of ideas but it keeps the pressure to post regularly at bay. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  • Fantastic post!! I follow Jenna Kutcher on Instagram, but have never listened to the podcast so I’ll definitely try it out now! I love the idea of having all of the posts ready in advanced. I think this also makes blogging seem less like a “job” and more like a hobby because the pressure for deadlines is gone once you have a backlog of content you can post at any time!

    Thanks for the tip!

    • That is what I thought I am lucky if I get one done. A lot of my shots mean moving parts of the house around and back again ie kid clutter or renovation gubbings add to that the oh so crap natural light we get. For 8 years I have said I need to nail using studio lights and yet I still suck

  • This is brilliant!. I’m such a slow writer that it takes me forever to research and then write. I love the idea of batch working . I find it’s hard for me to transition from research into writing. Pretty sure I will be so much more productive with this plan. Thanks!

  • I have actually never heard about this before! At times I go ahead and write a few posts ahead of time, but I have never heard of that term before. Also, I typically take one day out of the week to shoot outfits for that week, but this is something I am definitely going to start doing as well. Thanks for sharing, hope you’re having a wonderful day.

    -Kate
    https://daysofkate.com/

  • I’ve never heard of batch working. I still don’t understand what it means. Does this only apply to the blogging world? You don’t clearly define it in your blog post. Could someone essentially use this in the corporate world?

    • I second this – what’s the specific thing about batch working that makes this a unique concept?
      To me, it just sounds like a fancy word for doing like tasks together. Essentially the opposite of multitasking. I’ve read a bit about how multitasking is MUCH less effective than you think because you’re constantly switching focus, and that takes a lot of energy away from actually accomplishing anything. So choosing one activitiy and commiting your focus to that (for a day, a couple hours, or whatever) without distractings seems like a smart strategy. Is that what this batch working thing is all about?

    • Elsie links to Jenna’s post so you can listen/read more about it. I was confused at first too until I scrolled back for the link! We use the term batch cook for meal planning and this is kind of the same concept if that helps you make a connection!

  • Yes, I read about batch working/time blocking years ago when I researched ways for creatives to be more productive. I’ve now been doing it for several years. This was recommended for artists because once we get in the flow, it’s hard to stop. It works so well with my artist mentality. All the annoying stuff (accounting, errands, site updates, legals) are done on Mondays & Tuesdays, which leaves the rest of the week free to just focus on creating. So much more productive and less stressed this way!

    Best wishes on your growing family!

    Anna Maria
    http://www.rehcy.com

  • I need to start doing this. Sometimes I find myself batch working by accident and I always feel so accomplished!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  • This so helpful! I work a full time 9-5 job that has nothing to do with my blog so batch work could definitely be helpful in getting my blog the love it deserves.

  • Do you have any templates you recommend to use when planning blog posts? I am just starting with an Insta account dedicated to decor but wanted to organize and plan out posts ahead of time. It is my goal to set up my blog very soon. I love your blog and posts. Thank you for sharing so much of you with all of us!

    • Hi! No, honestly I made the most BASIC to-do lists ever. I keep them on the notes on my computer and phone. That’s about it! 🙂

  • I have to agree with this. I’ve been doing batch work for my posts ever since I relaunched my blog and it has worked wonders. I’m a mom of two and I also work full time but don’t want to abandon blogging altogether because I enjoy writing,so doing a bit of advanced planning and writing posts helped me a lot.

  • I am SO stoked about this! It’s never dawned on me, outside of photoshoots. With summer break coming up and my daughter home more, this is fabulous to plan out the next few months of blogging. Thank you so much for sharing this, as usual fab inspiration on seemingly simple things. SO GOOD, mama. xo

  • I need to implement this like yesterday! I definitely struggle with distraction and committing to a schedule. I’m so motivated to be more productive! Thank you for sharing!!

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