I discovered the wonderful and talented Ali Brown through the social media mania of twitter and have not looked back. Band of Barbies was created to empower, enlighten and instruct woman entrepreneurs on the secrets of how to run a successful business with PASSION and ENTHUSIASM. She is light years ahead of the game, and BOB has a few years to catch up, but I came across her article on "batching". A powerful time saving technique to help all of us do everything on our checklists and still have time for friends, family, and social events.
Most business-owners don't enjoy handling administrative tasks. We prefer to be brainstorming for that next big idea, executing our business plan, or out networking to build buzz. The good news is that there's a simple way to handle repetitive tasks more efficiently and make more time for the fun stuff.
It's called batching.
Basically, batching allows you to carve out a chunk of time and plough through a bunch of similar tasks at once. Once you get into the groove with a certain task, you'll usually notice that you become more efficient, but you'll lose that momentum if you switch gears too often and keeping starting different projects.
Here are five areas where batching makes sense.
1. Email. Some productivity experts recommend that you turn off email notifiers, check email just a few times per day, and alert important contacts so they'll know when to expect a response. That way you won't get sidetracked each time a new message pops up. Even if you don't have the will-power to swear off email for most of the day, you can save time by flagging emails that require a detailed response and setting aside a chunk of time to respond to several emails at once.
2. Invoices. Depending on your business cycle, it may make sense to schedule a day at the beginning or end of the month to send out invoices. Or you may need to spend an hour or two each week to process that week's invoices. Whatever your time line, it makes sense to handle a stack of invoices at once rather than dropping everything to handle them as they come in.
3. Phone calls and consultations. If you need to schedule several meetings, then set aside some time to make all your calls at once. You may end up leaving a few messages, but as long as you're in a phone calling mindset and have all the numbers in front of you, you'll ultimately save time. I teach members of my Millionaire Protege Club to batch their coaching calls with clients as well - condensing all calls into just two days a week frees up your other days for project work.
4. Blogging and social media. If you use blogs and social media to promote your business, then batching can be a huge help. Perhaps spend a few hours at the beginning of the week writing up several blog posts at once and schedule them to publish throughout the week. If you're on Twitter, then services like Hootsuite.com allow you to schedule tweets to automatically publish at specific times of day so your followers continue getting updates from you even if you're busy doing other things.
5. Other administrative or housekeeping tasks. The concept of batching can be applied to other aspects of your life, too. For instance, if you need to write thank you notes after a wedding or baby shower, you could batch the thank you notes and write several at once. If you want home-cooked meals for your family but don't have time to cook from scratch each night, you could make a large batch of food on Sunday evening and reheat it throughout the week. Look at the tasks you perform for work or home on a regular basis, and you'll probably find other examples, too.
By batching similar tasks together, you'll be amazed by how much more you can accomplish without working longer hours!
Offered to you by: Self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur and Inc. 500 CEO Ali Brown. She is devoted to creating financial freedom for women globally through the power of entrepreneurship. To learn how to create wealth and live an extraordinary life now, register for her free weekly articles at www.AliBrown.com