Is batching your work a good idea as a work-from-home mom? Well, you’re going to find out today as I give you the scoop on how and when to start batching in your home and business.
Here’s the deal. I felt for a very long time that I was inferior or doing something wrong or wasn’t official or legitimate because I wasn’t batching the way other people said I should. And I was spending time on Pinterest trying to figure out how to be effective and efficient at home and in business because I was drowning. All those years ago, before I created all these systems for my family and for my home, I was sitting there searching all of the Pinterest pins and looking at all the work-from-home mom schedules. Looking at all of the batches, get your work done in one month, and how I batched 90 days of content in two hours.
But here’s the deal. I use batching all the time in my home and business and I don’t do it the way that any of those people said that I should or they all claimed to. And over the last few years, I’ve finally figured out the science behind when and how to use batching. To save me time and to make being a work-from-home mom, not only possible but also super exciting and fun.
And I want you to be able to learn the system of batching, not what you should batch, but how this process of batching can be used to your advantage.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Is Batch Scheduling For You?
So, I’m really hoping that as I go through all of this, it truly will teach you how I have learned to batch my work and become super efficient instead of just trying to take other people’s business batching and putting it into your business. Then feeling like an epic failure because you don’t know how to batch or batching doesn’t work for you. Or you felt like you were just wasting time.
If you’re trying to take other people’s systems, their own specific approach to how they do things. Not actually learning the system, but just taking what they do and putting it in your business or putting it in your home, you probably are wasting time.
That’s why I feel like it’s so important that when you come here to Systemize Your Life, you actually learn what it is that you need to do to be more productive. What time and task management strategies do you need? How can you apply the systems that I am using from the ground up and build a framework for yourself inside of the Academy and the Facebook group?
It’s what I really pride myself on how adaptable all of these systems are to all different shapes and sizes and walks of life of women in different phases of their life. So that’s exactly what I aim to do with you today, which is for you to begin to see how you can start ringing out some of the gaps in your Tetris game. How can you start squashing out some of the inefficiencies and the real trouble points in your business or home? These two big beasts that you’re managing, are all that your home is, including the cleaning, cooking, marriage, children, and then your business.
The Art Of Batching
So those are the two umbrellas that I put everything under. One thing in your right hand and one thing in your left hand, and there are all these things inside of it. What are your big problem areas? Where are you drowning? Where are you failing?
I want to talk briefly about some different ways that I’m currently batching in my business and in my home. Then I will go over the batching process and what it actually looks like. The two forms of batching that I currently use and I think that everyone should use. And one of those two forms of batching, you probably have never thought about and probably are not utilizing. So I’m excited to get into that.
But first and foremost, let’s just talk kind of high-level batching. Where do we see batching happening? Where are you using batching right now in your business or in your home? And just write it down. Some of the ways that I do batch in my business is with social media. I also do massive batching with my emails. There are times when I batch my podcasts or blog posts and I definitely batch my tasks.
I batch my monthly tasks, quarterly tasks, and my goal mapping. I actually batch a lot of different work in my business in different ways, and I have taught that through the Academy inside of tier two, we go over how to build out a workflow. We start with task mapping and then we go into batching. And that is the meat of everything that creating a workflow is.
So obviously I base all of my work in my business off of workflows, and I have a lot of batching that takes place in both of the two forms that I’m going to talk about here in a minute. And then what about batching in my home? And what about in your house? Where are you batching? Maybe as I go through my ideas and what I currently am batching, it’ll give you ideas on what you currently are batching or maybe could be batching.
Examples Of Home Batching Your Likely Doing Already
I’m going to talk about batching laundry because I do batch laundry. And so are you batching, and I’m talking about this because I want you to start to formulate a concept in your mind. A visual of what batching actually means outside of the context of what you see on Pinterest and the internet and social media.
So when we talk about your laundry, you are batching it right now, every single person that uses a washing machine is batching their laundry. They’re not sitting there and washing one article of clothing at a time, one by one. You take all of your laundry and you throw it in there.
Some of you might take all your whites and throw them in, all of your darks and throw them in. I do wash my jeans separately. So that’s a form of batching that I do in my house.
We batch pay our bills, we don’t pay one bill when it’s due. Instead, we go in and pay everything all at the same time, even if it’s not due yet. We just pay everything early so we only have to pay bills twice a month. Some of them come out automatically, but for any of the other bills that we have to pay, we just go in and we pay them in a batch when we sit down to do bill paying.
Then food and meals, I do a lot of batch cooking and batch grocery shopping. I don’t go to the grocery store every single time I need a meal. I shop for my food in a batch.
What To Do?
How do I know what to do? You need to pay attention when things in your house or in your business are not getting done that need to get done. That’s when things are incomplete and are in shambles at the end of the day or at the end of the week or at the end of the month. Are things falling apart in some place in your life and you just feel like you can’t manage that task? If there’s a yes coming to your mind, then you might want to start using batching. And here are the two different types of batching that we’re going to talk about today.
Two Types Of Batching
The first type of batching is what I like to call batching up, and the second is batching down. So we’re going to start creating these two buckets and that’s all the more complicated this is going to get right?
Batching down is when you take a big task and you make it into smaller tasks, like your taxes at the end of the year. Batching up is where you take several small repetitive tasks and you make them one bigger task, like social media posts every single day. And then you batch them all in a month and you do 30 social media posts in one hour. So you took a bunch of small repetitive tasks and you batch them and you got them done in one fell swoop.
So we’re going to look at examples for you to see the difference between batching down and batching up and when to start implementing one over the other or even both of them in your home or in your business.
The real issue here is not, how to batch in my business and how I batch in my home. It’s just the process of learning the difference between batching up and batching down. And it applies to whatever task, either a big task or several small repetitive tasks. It doesn’t matter where that is, it doesn’t matter if that’s in your nine-to-five. Or in your home with your kids, in your marriage, in your finances, in your business, in your business finance.
It literally doesn’t matter. This applies to you as a work-from-home mom trying to run a ship. When and where do you need to implement batching? Do you need to batch up or do you need to batch down?
Batching Up Or Down In Your Home
So the first that we’re going to talk about is some examples in our home. How do you know when it’s time to batch up or batch down in your home?
The first example is your home is full of let’s say toys, or things all over. Maybe your kids are older, and you don’t have toys. That’s fine, but it’s backpacks, shoes, chargers, and all of the electronics. It’s everywhere. When you have little kids, it’s this times 1000. I have no words for how many things managed to come out of the bedroom from up the stairs to down the stairs at the end of the day.
End Of Day
So at the end of the day when your house looks like a bomb went off and it’s this big task at the end of the day, you want to go to bed with a clean house, but you can’t. It’s too much to do at the end of the day. So this is a big task that in one sitting is way too much. And so it’s time to break it down into smaller batches, meaning it’s time to batch down. This is when you know you need to batch this out. This one thing is my kryptonite and I can’t get it done.
Batching Down With Your Laundry
Same thing with your laundry. If you have laundry spewing everywhere all the time. Your laundry room literally has all the clothes coming out of it into the hallway and you don’t know how to sit down and get that laundry done all in one swoop on a Saturday, it’s time to batch down. You need to break it down into smaller batches. And that’s why I’ve created the two systems for the two problems.
One is the single-load hamper system that allows you to batch down your laundry. So as soon as your one teeny tiny laundry hamper fills up, you do the laundry. And so for a lot of you that have multiple children that you’re doing laundry for and probably your spouse as well and yourself, you’re going to be doing one small load of laundry a day, right?
Instead of trying to tackle all of it at the end of a week or two weeks and just staring at it until it’s so bad that no one has underwear or socks. You’ve now batched down and you’ve created little bite-size portions of this big monster of a task.
Home Tidy Cues
The same thing that I teach by creating tidy cues with your house looking like a bomb went off at the end of the day. This is how I teach women to batch down the bear of cleaning up the house at the end of the day. You don’t save all of your cleaning in the house to the end of the day, ladies, you batch down. Create tidy cues of two to three small batches and tidy throughout specific points in your day. I typically recommend doing it between transitions or in transition between two different time blocks.
You should have your house completely cluttered free and everything is completely put back in its home and ready to rock and roll before your kids close their eyes at the end of the night, not doing it after. And that is a perfect example of how to batch down in your home so that you can tackle that. Both of those are great examples to help you get started.
Okay, let’s talk about batching up, where we take several small tasks and we make them bigger. And I can guarantee most of you are very familiar with this example that I’m about to give you.
Let’s say that the task that you’re constantly drowning in and trying to figure out is how to feed and cook and shovel out meals to your entire family multiple times a day. You end up giving them candy, sugar, snacks, vending machine food, drive-through, or eating whatever’s at the bottom of your purse. It’s just a mess. And you can’t ever seem to get a win in the department multiple times a day.
What am I even talking about? Five times a day? Let’s be real, right? Three to five times a day having to put food in people’s mouths. It’s a lot. And so here is that one small task over and over again that you’re having a hard time managing. So now it’s time to put those into a group and bang them out all in one fell swoop.
So what are you saying, Chelsea? I’m supposed to feed all five of my meals to my family at once. No, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s time to batch up. Meaning you need to meal prep. Yeah, I’m going to hammer this one in because you’ve probably heard it from every angle and you already feel like you know you need to do it, but you don’t know how to make it happen.
The reality is, is that you do need to cook a bunch of food beforehand on the weekend. So when it comes to this constant task of putting food in mouths, putting food on the table that keeps creeping up in you, you’re prepared.
It’s as simple as walking in there, grabbing the prepped food, and handing it out so you’re not going into the kitchen and cooking and prepping meals and making food, even if it’s just making mac and cheese, that sometimes is just too much. It’s too much for you to wrap your brain around. You spend more time putting the kids in the car, taking them to drive through because you’re so exhausted that you don’t even want to make mac and cheese.
This is when batching up becomes vital. You have to take all of these small little tasks that become really consuming in your day, then day after day, and put them into one big batch. That doesn’t mean you have to batch all of it, but maybe you just batch a breakfast. Well, how do I batch my breakfast? I buy pre-made paleo egg sandwiches from Costco. Boom, done. Costco does a lot of my batching for me. Outsourced that to Costco.
Do you see how all of these systems are interrelated? How when you start to get granular into your life, you start writing things down, you start analyzing, you start collecting data, you become extremely efficient and everything starts working like a well-oiled machine.
Batching Up & Down In Business
I’ve set aside two examples of how I have experienced batching in my business. And I want to say this again, there is no right or wrong answer to that at all. I want you to know that batching is a really useful tool to come to that next level of efficiency and productivity.
I just started on my own trying to figure it out for a long time and I didn’t really understand the process of batching. So I hope that this clarifies that for you. In no way, shape, or form should you ever feel like you have to start batching in order to be productive.
For example, there are so many people in the podcasting industry that are like, oh, you need to batch your episodes. And so many other people batch their podcast episodes to the point where I’ll do an interview with them and they want me on their podcast and it literally won’t go out for months because they’ve batched all of their content so far out in advance.
I’m just not like that most of the time. I record my podcast episode a few days before. Sometimes when life is crazy, I’m doing it the night before. Every once in a while it’ll be the morning of. But my sweet spot is a week before. That’s where I like to do most of my recordings.
I don’t actually sit down and do a bunch of batching for my podcast episodes and then schedule them all out and let them ride because I just haven’t enjoyed working that way. If I want time off and I know when I’m going on vacation. I have my emergency bank and then I also schedule if I’m going to be outta town.
Do What Excites You
But you have to know what excites you about running your business from home, about the work that you do. You also have to know that there’s no real rhyme or reason to why other people need to batch their work versus why you don’t. Don’t ever feel like with any of the systems you have to do it or you are not at the level that you need to be.
“But you have to know what excites you about running your business from home, about the work that you do. You also have to know that there’s no real rhyme or reason to why other people need to batch their work versus why you don’t.”
Everybody has to put systems in place in their lives, in the way that they need in order to make it work for their whole family and ecosystem. So that’s what I love bringing to you the underneath part. Not just the fame and the glory of this one random blog post and this one random Instagram post of this person that’s miraculously sharing all of these amazing results.
I want to teach you what’s underneath all of that. How did they get there? What did it look like? The actual system, the actual steps, the actual thought processes, the actual data collection, and all that kind of stuff.
When it comes to the business side of batching up and batching down, let’s look at the examples that I have in place.
Pain Points In Your Business
What’s this pain area? This one thing that you’re drowning with, let’s say it’s your social media content, getting content pushed out every single day, whether that be a Facebook post or your social media post.
Maybe it’s content for your blog or content for your podcast. It could even be your actual product, you have an Etsy store and you’re having a hard time getting the amount of inventory or product out that you want.
Batching Up Social Media Example
Let’s talk about social media right now. It’s the same repetitive task over and over again. Either day after day or week after week. And you can’t keep up. It’s time to batch up. Meaning you need to get a specific plan in place for all of the content that you’re going to be putting out. Either for the whole week or for the whole month. I highly recommend that when you first start batching that you start small and start practicing that way.
So start with just a week of content. Say you put out five posts in a week, maybe you do seven posts in a week, right? Don’t just start with a whole entire month and try to do them all. Start super small, and learn what needs to be in place to even start to batch your social media content. What system are you going to use?
For those of you inside of the Academy, there is a whole module on how I batch my social media content for you guys to look at. And if you’re not inside of the academy and it sounds interesting to you head here to take a look!
But that’s basically what has to happen in order for you to get ahead and not always feel behind. This creates the feeling of having to rush, a feeling and mindset that you carry with you all of the time. This is what you need to do in order to get rid of that, you need to batch up. You need to take all these little things and put them in a bigger batch. So your bigger batch might be once a week. That might turn into twice a week. Which might turn into once a month. And then you roll from there.
Batching Down In Your Business
Okay, now what about batching in your home and business? What does this look like? I think this is the one that people tend to overlook the most and is really surprising and shocking to people when they come inside the academy and we teach them how to do workflows. It’s the concept of what big tasks you have in your business that need to be batched down so that you’re not overwhelmed.
What about tracking your goals and where you’re at? Or keeping up with specific spreadsheets or taxes. Keeping up with logs or even maintenance if you have any actual physical products or tools that use in your business. How often are you doing maintenance on your laptop, on your cell phone if you’re using that for business, or even your vehicle?
Instead of just waiting for this big monster of a task to come and rear its ugly face at you, no storage, can’t record an episode, can’t download this document. And now you have to figure out how to get everything off of your computer because you haven’t been maintaining it little by little. Or it’s time for taxes and now you’re filing an extension because you haven’t been maintaining it little by little.
All these little things turn into big things because you’re not batching down and putting them into your workflow every single week or maybe even once a month. This is where I do all of my batching down. I call it my monthly tasks and my workflow. It’s an amazing opportunity for you to be able to make this big task something smaller that you do once a month. So that at the end of the year, you’re not trying to tackle it all at once.
Cheli’s Batch Down Examples:
Here’s a look and a good example of when I use batching down in my business.
Every single week I do my finances in my business instead of trying to figure that out once a month or even worse, more than that. So I’ve taken this big huge bear of finances and I go in and I check my spreadsheets. I check my bank balances and I make sure that everything is where it needs to be. So that’s one of the ways that I have batched down in my business.
Another thing I have on my workflow every single week is a block of time for about an hour long that says monthly task. I sat down and wrote down everything in my business that needed to happen on a monthly basis.
The things that you’re not getting to right now, the reason you’re not getting to them in your business is that you’ve not made time for them. And you can’t tackle all four hours in one day at the end of the month. It’s too much.
Just like that laundry room with laundry all the way out into the hallway is too much. And so you need to be setting aside time every single week, right? So every week I pull into my workflow, my week one task that I do in that hour timeframe. Typically one of the things that I wanted to be doing ideally was sending out handwritten notes to clients, friends, family, or just students in the academy, really just anybody. And so instead of doing that all in one fell swoop at the end of the month, which I wasn’t getting to, I just sit down and I write even just one card, right?
Every single month I am doing a little bit of this big task over and over again instead of waiting until the end of the month to try and do all of it all at once or the end of the quarter or the end of the year.
Two Questions To Ask Yourself
So basically this entire post just comes down to when you aren’t getting things done, you need to ask yourself these two questions first to start batching in your home and business.
- First question, am I struggling with this thing because it’s too big to do all at once? If the answer is yes, then you need to batch down.
- Second question, am I struggling with this thing because it has too many small repetitive tasks over and over again. I’m having to do it too often over and over again and I can’t keep up with it. If the answer is yes, then you need a batch up.
I would really love to see if this episode sparked any kind of new batching that you want to try in your home or in your business. And if it did, I would love for you to come over and tell us inside the Facebook group. Let us know what you have decided to start batching and we can start a thread of all of the things that other women like batching or want to start batching. I’d love to see what kind of ideas you have based on this post and what it inspired you to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get a good planner to get all of my batching down on paper?
We recommend using the Horatio Planner by Horacio Printing. This is what Chelsi uses and highly recommends for her home and business to keep everything in order.