Content Creation: Batching Your Tasks 101
Content creation is hard work, especially when it comes to written content. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing the content yourself, or someone else is doing it for you. Ultimately, someone has to sit down and put pen to paper… or words to screen.
If you approach content creation in a linear fashion, it will take you much longer because you’ll constantly be switching between tasks.
For example, writing and editing are 2 different processes. If you edit as you write, your creative process will be jarred, and you’ll not achieve a state of ‘flow’ which is what most writers strive for.
The best way to stay organized and speed up content creation will be to batch your tasks. Below you’ll find 7 tasks to batch.
* Why is batching so effective?
Batching is basically grouping similar tasks and doing them all at one go. It’s almost as if you’re in an assembly line at a factory repeating the same task over and over.
This will not only increase your speed but you’ll find it easier to focus on the task too. You won’t need to constantly go back and forth between tasks.
While it may seem like you’re not making progress, because nothing seems to be getting completed when you’re in the process – when it’s time to create the content, everything will already be done and you just need to start writing.
That’s when the speed truly builds up and you’ll make up for lost time and more. Now let’s see how to batch your tasks.
1. Decide on your task for the day
Content creation generally revolves around 5 tasks:
You do NOT want to do them all in one day. So what you’ll do is decide what task you’ll do for the day. Ideally, you’ll want to complete all the work associated for a specific task before moving on to the next one.
For example, you might decide to spend Monday and Tuesday doing research. Wednesday may be for outlining. And from Thursday to Saturday, you’ll write like a maniac.
On Saturday, you’ll edit and proofread what you wrote… and on Sunday, you’ll publish the content.
This is just a general idea. Decide for yourself what you’ll do each day and only focus on that task.
2. Work in pre-determined time blocks
The next step will be to decide WHEN you’ll do the work. You don’t want to adopt a haphazard approach to content creation – or you’ll never get the job done.
Decide on a time block when you’ll begin and end the task. For example, you may decide to do your research from 9am to 11am. That’s fine. Just make sure you stick to it.
Many people find it especially difficult to write. Like author, Steven Pressfield said, “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
The best way to overcome this problem will be to sit down at your desk at the specified time, whether you like it or not… and give yourself just 2 minutes to write. Anyone can do that.
You’ll realize that once you start, most of the time you’ll keep going. Use this technique and you’ll trick your mind into being less resistant to the task at hand.
3. Do your research
In step #3, you’ll do ALL the research you’ll need for you to write later on.
This is especially important for non-fiction. Keep your research notes organized so that you can refer to them easily.
4. Outline your content
Having an outline will increase your writing speed exponentially. Of course, your outlines will be based on the research you’ve done.
Make a list of the points you’ll cover and so on. Even if you’re typing on a computer, having your outlines written on paper in front you is recommended. In this way, you can glance at your outline as you type rather than switching between tabs and so on.
5. Write like a maniac
This is where the pedal hits the metal and the rubber meets the road. Once your outlines are all ready, start writing your content.
There’s a saying – “Write drunk. Edit sober.”
So when you write, just let your thoughts and words flow. Don’t be overly concerned about typos, etc. The goal is to get the content written.
Even if you’re creating content for infographics, social media posts, sales copy, etc. this principle will apply. Write first… and churn out ALL the content that you need to complete!
6. Edit sober
Once all your content is done, it’s time to edit the content and fix the errors such as spelling/grammar mistakes, sentence construction issues, typos, etc.
Batching this task will mean completing all your editing for the content you’ve created before moving on to the final task.
7. Publish your content
This is the most fun part of the lot. You’ll either be publishing the content on your blog or turning it into a digital product to sell. You might have other plans for it, but the principle stays the same.
Publish your content when it’s all completed. A common mistake beginners make is to create 1 piece of content, do all the steps above… publish it… and then run off to repeat the process with the next piece of content.
Can you even imagine how tiring and time consuming that will be?
By now you’ll realize that while batching your tasks seems to be a more delayed approach, it’s actually faster when you look at the big picture.
Adopt the pointers in this article and you’ll be a lean, mean, content creating machine.