I suffer from a problem that a lot of other artists and entrepreneurs deal with on a day to day basis. We have so many ideas and projects that we want to work on that we end up starting but not finishing many different projects at the same time.
As a results, we tend to get 90% of a project completed, but then get distracted by something new and more interesting. My Trello board with all of my projects and tasks right now has so many different projects that are very interesting to me.
Now that I work for myself and have more time to work on these projects, I end up working on many different things rather than the one, most important project of the time.
And unfortunately, I am stressed out by the incomplete projects!
I came across a few reminders from authors and artists I admire all convincing me that I need to refocus on batching my time and not just time blocking. (I explain the difference here.)
First, Paul Jarvis wrote about how much he likes having a boring business in this article. The part that stood out to me the most was:
. . . my business is boring because I write my weekly articles a month or two in advance (note: I wrote this in January). That way I have time to write them as best I can, without deadlines looming. That way I’m not rushing to get something to my copyeditor last minute. I work on products at least months, more than likely a year or two in advance, so I have the space to make sure they’re well made, well researched, and well tested.
My business and creative work has become very reactive and very last minute.
What is the solution? A couple of days ago, Tim Ferriss published a video summarizing the concept of batching from his book The 4-Hour Work Week:
In the video he uses the example of laundry to describe batching work. You wouldn’t wash one piece of clothing every day. You wait until you have an entire load of laundry to do before washing your clothes.
Instead of working on a few projects this week, why not work on just one and get it completely finished?
Instead of creating worksheets or writing articles that are useful for this month or the next week, why not create things that I can plan to publish months from now?
Batch your work.