Does this sound familiar? You sit down to write your next blog article, or newsletter, or whatever it is you need to write for your biz, and here’s how it goes:
- Get a fresh cup of coffee/tea
- Gather up random Post-it notes and scraps with scribbled ideas
- Open a blank Word document
- Stare at that blank document for awhile
- Save the document and give it a name so you feel productive
- Refresh your coffee/tea
- Open the internet to do some “research”
- Spend 30 minutes reading shocking revelations from Game of Thrones or catching up in Facebook
- Close internet. Close Word document. Decide to try again tomorrow.
DO NOT feel guilty if this happens to you. Hey, I feel ya! Even pro writers whose biz it is to write every day go through this sometimes. It’s frustrating and it’s a productivity-killer.
How do I break free of this giant tar-pit of time-wastefulness and get some serious writing done? My secret is a little something called “batching.”
A couple newsletters ago, I mentioned my plans to get serious about batching again (to help me catch up after a month-plus of jury duty). Batching is the practice of setting aside a block of time and focusing your full attention to writing as much as you can. You can work on anything you want when you batch – blogs, newsletters, ebooks, video scripts, social media posts, etc.
I discovered batching a few years ago and fell in love with the results. It’s crazy how much content I’ve found I can churn out in a single day. I just schedule a day, create a list of what I’m going to work on, turn everything else off, and go to town on my keyboard. No internet, no phone, no social media, no kids. I’m able to get into the zone with my writing and maximize my productivity.
That’s how I crank out more than 20 blog posts a month. Plus newsletters, website content, marketing content, ebooks, etc.
Your writing goals might be a wee bit diff than mine, that’s cool. Maybe you need to write 2 newsletters for the month? Or 4 blog articles? Or how about social media for an entire month? Use my batching technique and you can write what you need in one morning.
Ready to try a batch session on your own? Here’s what to do:
- Schedule a block of time. Be serious and treat it like the important business task it is. Try for at least 4 hours, or even a full day. If you work at home, and it’s distracting, take your laptop on the road to one of your happy places – coffee shop, library, etc.
- Decide what you’re going to work on ahead of time. Be realistic. If you’re going to work for 4 hours, maybe shoot for 2 newsletter articles and some social media. If you’re doing a full day, go for the ebook. Gather your notes and research and ideas ahead of time and have them organized in a digital file.
- On your official Batching Day, set the scene for maximum productivity. Turn off your phone or put it on mute. No internet, no email, no social media. Surround yourself with what makes you happy – a pumpkin spice latte, fresh cut flowers, macaroons, your adorable Maltipoo snuggling at your feet.
- Now write. Let it flow. And be amazed at the sheer amount of content you create.
I’m actually writing this article about batching on a batching day I’ve set for myself. If you decide to try this technique, let me know. I’ll cheer you on and even hold you accountable if that’s what you need.
Hmm, maybe we should all schedule a virtual batching day together? Just think, one big, long, delicious day devoted to churning out tons of content. Add some salted caramel cupcakes to celebrate and I think we’re on to something!