A quick guide to batching

Batching is all about supersizing your productivity through the power of psychology. This might sound grand but it’s really just about understanding how we best work and attempting to create rhythms and disciplines to match.

Short term rewards and the pressures of life condition us into living in a reactionary fashion (think bosses who want immediate results and response) but being deliberate and creating discipline will actually give us the results we (and everyone else) want in the long run.

It requires a certain amount of deliberate effort to put batching into place but is a very important key to create repeatable results.

Productivity is all about self-awareness

Productive people aren’t necessarily more focused or clever than unproductive people. They’re just more aware of their weaknesses.

Our default approach to work is to think of it like a marathon across the day. We keep on chipping away and eventually we (think we will) get everything done.

But in actuality, our focus dips and wanes throughout the day. Some parts of the day, we are absolutely smashing it out and others we are not. As a result, we find that what we accomplish by the end of the day is inevitably less than we expected.

Willpower is not the way

All of us have this sense of optimistic forgetfulness with the working day. “This day will be different”, we tell ourselves as we start with that fresh coffee-infused enthusiasm. It’s not that we don’t want to succeed but that our approach is wrong. It’s simply impossible to motor through the whole day with the same level of energy.

So why do we keep trying the same old approach to work?

What if instead of relying on our own brilliance to show up each hour, we design a system (in our peak focus) that makes being brilliant easier?

So what is batching anyways?

Batching is based around this very idea that every time you shift a mental gear, it costs you in focus. Interruptions such as notifications or emails can cost you dearly too and so often we aren’t even aware of it.

Each of us have a fixed amount of mental energy for focus throughout the day and we want to apply that in the best way possible.

Batching & social media

For example, let’s say for simplicity that it takes one hour to create a social media post. Creating a post every day would take 7 hours but creating seven posts in one sitting would (probably) take more like 3-4 hours.

Note that this approach is less conducive to the communication-filled, interruption-prone days that we are used to working with colleagues who demand an instant response. But it does create better results in the end.

The advantages of batching

Instead of thinking day-to-day, we find that batching helps us think more long-term such as month-to-month. It may not seem like a big change but it has huge implications on our productivity and ability to focus in the future.

The advantages of batching are not just psychological though but also practical. For example, if you are a content creator – being in different modes of work actually requires you to be in different places or with different working set ups.

E.g. when I’m editing a video I want to use my additional monitor. And when I’m filming, I need to be in the studio or have my lighting set up. All of this set up time is wasted when we perform tasks in isolation instead of batching.

Batching in real life

Here are some ways you can use batching to supersize your productivity:

– Recording (not editing) multiple reels (or preaches) in one go
– Spending time on your Instagram engagement strategy (instead of checking Instagram every 20 minutes, why not just set aside an hour to go deep into it each day?)
– Managing email
– Paying bills and other admin
– Meetings. I set aside specific blocks of time for coaching calls and consultation to create space in the rest of the week for deep thinking and creative work.

Your next steps to begin batching

Now it’s over to you. What is occupying your time, energy and attention right now? Perhaps an intense batching sesh will set things right and open up some space.

Hi I'm Sats Solanki aka the Digital Rabbi.

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Creativity requires courage

Every time I create space to rest and relax, ideas flow without even trying. In fact sometimes even when I don’t, ideas seem to come out of nowhere.

The power of the shower

Much to the apparent chagrin of my wife each morning, this seems to be why I spend so much time in the shower. Simply standing around, doing nothing in particular seems to be particularly conducive to a flow of wondrous ideas and creativity to start the day.

I’m not so sure this is part of my unique brilliance so much as it is part of the wonder of humanity.

Human beings create

People have ideas. It’s what they do. Our natural state is to be infused with the wonders of imagination, dreams and visions. We create because creativity is infused in our very being (reflecting the image of God).

The problem isn’t a lack of creativity but a lack of courage. Because by definition, every great and original idea has to be thoroughly tested with exposure to the world in order to see the light of day. And when we share our creativity, we are baring a piece of our soul.

Even if someone else has done it already, there is still a great emotional cost for us to dare to put ourselves out there. Because why would it work for us?

Courage is a rare commodity

Everyone has the power to create. But not everyone has courage. Courage is the willingness to face failure and even humiliation because of a great prize.

We all nod knowingly when ideas work of course. But contrary to our deepest fears, most people forget our failures pretty quickly, if not instantly. But then again, who really cares what other people think anyways?

Even more fascinating is that because of its rarity, even a little bit of courage causes you to cut through the noise and rise above the crowd.

Love motivates us to be courageous

If we hide ourselves because of fear or shame, was it because we genuinely cared about others or honoured what we had been given to share the world or was it simply because we lacked courage?

What ideas are you sitting on that need a little injection of courage?

Hi I'm Sats Solanki aka the Digital Rabbi.

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