Managing Tasks: Time blocking, Batch Working, and Other Productivity Hacks
In the beauty business, we know productivity. Often we work in small teams of just a handful of people (or solo!) and run a tight ship because we have to. In a world where we’re trying to do more with less, productivity hacks help us get more done and everything runs just a little smoother. If you ask us, these hacks make the repeating tasks more enjoyable because we don’t have to tackle them one by one. Who doesn’t love that?
All tasks need to get done, but some can wait and others cannot. One way to prioritize is from most important & urgent to least. Separate your daily tasks into categories such as: get done ASAP, get done today, or get done by end of the day. Some tasks are time-sensitive, such as getting back to a client about rescheduling, while others are more flexible, such as planning for sales events a few months out.
There are many different methods of prioritizing your day, such as the 20/20/20 Formula from the best seller The 5AM Club or the GTD technique made popular by David Allen, and the beauty of being a business owner is that you know your company best and you get to make the call.
Batching is our favorite hack. The key to efficiency is to do the same tasks in one go. Need to take & edit product photos? Brainstorm articles, write & edit them? Create & schedule social posts? Decide on a weekly or monthly schedule and get them done while you’re in the flow. Once they’re created, use an automating tool. Most platforms have a “schedule for later” function, which gives you peace of mind that your content is set for the next period.
A final bonus to batching: your output has a consistent look and feel because they’re all born from the same process.
Similar to batching, time blocking is another great hack to work uninterrupted. If you’ve ever heard of a Pomodoro session, it's essentially 25 minutes of a no-distraction “block” that you focus on doing one single task; there's a 5-minute break following each block. This technique works wonders as it break down your time into intervals and your workload into small, manageable chunks.
Fun fact: Created by software developer and entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique was named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that he used to keep himself focused and productive when he was in college.
The Analog Method
As much as we love digital tools and coordinate our team projects in Trello and Google Calendar, sometimes the old-school method of paper simply work best to keep things organized. Paper calendars let you see events a few weeks ahead and give you a total glance at what your month/year looks like. It’s also great for jotting down vacations, birthdays, and anniversaries so they fit into your schedule alongside business projects. Want to be more eco-friendly? These reusable notebooks are worth a look.
Another pro to paper planners is the satisfaction of crossing an item off the list.
We want to know: What are your tried & true productivity hacks? Let us know in the comments!