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The Secrets of Batching in Freelance Work

The Secrets of Batching in Freelance Work

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your to-do list? Ever have trouble knowing where to start? Do you feel like you spend your time flitting from one activity to the next just trying to get everything done and keep all those plates spinning? I feel you. Being a freelancer is tough work and the balancing act of working on many projects at once is no joke. The solution? Batching.

Described in the book, Getting Things Done, batching is a process of grouping like tasks together and doing them at the same time (source). Batching is great for emails, phone calls, social media, errands, paying bills, planning, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

Think about it: If you need to run to the Post Office, deposit a few checks at the bank, and pick up something quick at the grocery store, would you make three separate trips during the day, or try to run all three errands while you're out? If possible, it probably makes sense to try to get all your errands done in one trip. Similarly, if you're cooking dinner, would you start sautéing, then file a few loose receipts, then go check the mail? I hope not! When you're cooking, you chop, sauté, stir, serve, and eat, without stopping in the middle to change gears and do something else.

Want to know a few secrets? Here's why batching is the way to go:

So Good

"Be so good they can't ignore you." - Steve Martin This is the kind of reminder I needed this morning.

Right now, I’m sitting at home with my cup of hot chocolate/coffee with seven different tabs open in Firefox and I admit that I just spent the last 30 minutes jumping from one thing to another: posting, saving files, responding to emails, proofing, downloading, linking, etc.  Then, I read this quote (again).  Be so good they can’t ignore you.  Be that good.  Is the work I did in the last half an hour really that good?  It didn’t have my full attention.  It wasn’t that careful.  It was reactionary rather than thoughtful.

Let’s reset.

1. Choose the things that are most important for today. 2. Structure the day so that each task gets your full attention. 3. Eliminate distractions. 4. Do your best work.

Be that good.