How I Batch & Schedule my Workweek as a Small Business Owner
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
Being a solo business owner requires a lot of different hats. I specialize in Branding and Website design, but for my own business I’m also a blogger, a tutorial creator, a social media manager, an email marketer…
It can get a bit overwhelming.
When I started full time, I decided that I needed to put some sort of schedule in place to keep focussed and on track, and to make the most of my time.
Batching is a working method that is pretty self explanatory. It involves working on one area of your business for an extended period of time, to schedule ahead. For example, every monday I plan out my Instagram feed for at least 1 week. So instead of thinking of something to post every morning, I only have to think about it once per week (and then don’t have to think about it again until next week!)
It works well because it keeps you focussed on the task at hand. If I didn’t batch/plan out my Instagram posts, then every morning I would struggle to think of things to post and it would take so much more time editing the posts day by day. But because I do them all at once, my attention is completely focused on creating for Instagram, and I can easily create a weeks worth of content in an hour.
This method is really the best way to make the most of your time.
As a creative (like many of you, I’m sure) I find it really hard to focus on one thing at a time. I get distracted so easily, I usually have about 100 tabs open and my brain is just jumping back and forth between ideas. But when I schedule it in and plan to batch something, I completely get into it.
I give myself a goal of how much I want/need to batch and how long it will take me, e.g. I need to batch 1 weeks worth of Instagram in the next hour. This motivates me to get it done. It majorly helps if you turn off all distractions too, like, turn off your phone, close all of the extra tabs, put your headphones in etc.
What I batch + schedule:
Instagram posts: I use illustrator to do this since a lot of my posts are design related or little graphics. I batch at least one weeks worth at a time. I usually do around 8 or 9 days of posts, so I slowly getting more and more ahead.
Blog posts: I post consistently every Monday and Wednesday so I need to make sure I have enough posts to go out that week. I write at least 2 Blog Posts per week (minimum). My weekly goal is 3 posts so I can continue to get more and more ahead. Right now I am 2 weeks ahead, which is great because I know at any point things can change (I might need an emergency holiday to the Bahamas, or something…) and I want to be able to cover myself. I write these out in Google Docs, then copy them over to Squarespace, format them completely and have everything 100% ready so I can push publish when the time comes. Squarespace has an awesome scheduling tool, so you can just enter the date and the posts will go out when you have set them.
Pinterest Scheduling: I use BoardBooster to schedule my Pinterest. It’s amazing, and so easy. I have everything set up now that I can spend around 30 minutes in Pinterest every week, and have tonnes of content being published to my boards and group boards. BoardBooster is a life changer.
Accounting/Analytics: I do this religiously once per month, on the first of the month (for the previous month). I track and record all of my income and expenses and I also track and record all of my website, social media and general business analytics. Though I will add that I do check this at least weekly on a casual basis to see where I’m aiming for the month.
Email Marketing: This isn’t as much about batching as it is about scheduling. I send an email out to my subscribers at the same time once per week.
Freebies: I post 1 new freebie every week for my subscribers that are a part of the freebie library. I create at least 1 freebie per week but aim for 2, like blogging, to get ahead. Currently I’m 2 weeks ahead.
So with that said, this is what my week looks like:
Mondays are a great day to get business tasks done because I’m located in New Zealand and, for most people, it’s still Sunday so I don’t usually get any emails or disturbances!
Batch at least 1 week of Instagram
Write at least 1-2 Blog posts
Publish 1 Blog Post
Schedule Pins for at least one weeks worth of auto-pilot pinning (thanks BoardBooster)
Write at least 1 Blog post
Publish 1 Blog Post
No scheduled business tasks on Thursday, usually it’s my “stuff that didn’t get done earlier in the week” day.
Create 1-2 Freebies
Publish 1 Freebie
The rest of my hours are completely jam packed with client work, emails, calls (and some Netflix here and there).
Scheduling your week is really important when you work from home (like I do) and there are so many distractions. If you have a schedule of things you need to do that day, you’re much more likely to get stuff done.
Scheduling and batching is the best use of your time and will help you get so much more done! More time = more money (or more Netflix, the choice is yours).
How does your workweek look? Let me know in the comments if you have a similar structure to me, or if you have any other time-saving, productivity ideas!
Thanks for reading!