Maternity leave sort of sounds like a break and sort of sounds really hard…and I don’t mean this in reference to the tiny newborn human that requires my presence to live. I mean this in reference to the three businesses I run (yes, THREE!).
In order to properly prepare for an extended absence, I must have a lot of pieces planned in advance. For each of these businesses, I am [for the most part] a one-woman show. So in my absence, in order for the show to go on, a lot of behind-the-scenes legwork must take place prior to said absence.
One of the most used techniques I have used as I prepare for this leave of absence is batch working. Batch working is taking a task in the business and doing a bunch of it all at once. So, for example, TPF needed multiple blog posts to be written so that I could auto-post them once a week. Instead of sitting down and writing these blog posts individually, I set aside a time to write them all at once.
Think about it–I sit down to write one blog post. I grab my water bottle and snack; I pull up EverNote where I write all my blog posts; I pull up the note where I have all my blog topic brainstorming…decide I don’t like any of those topics; so I have to brainstorm topics and outlines for the new topic; then I have to write and schedule the post, as well as write the SEO description; then I have to search for an image to accompany the blog post.
Let’s say that takes a total of 45 minutes. Let’s say I have to write six blog posts. If I write them each separately, it would take me a total of 270 minutes, or four and a half hours! Now, if I sit down and write them all at once, I take out a huge chunk of prep time for each individual blog post. I can cut that overall blog writing time from 4.5 hours to 2.5 hours because I am consistently writing out content and not re-starting the process over each time.
This batch working technique works well in many parts of my photography business: blog writing, social media scheduling, writing timelines, ordering client gifts, culling, editing, responding to emails.
Use this technique to streamline the time it takes to complete certain tasks in your business. While it may feel difficult to identify a 2.5 hour chunk of time to dedicate to blog writing…trust me, in four weeks when you still have content to automatically post, you will be thanking me!