To Batchwork or Not to Batchwork

by | May 14, 2024 | Strategy | 0 comments

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko

Did I google if batchworking was one word or two? Yes. Am I ignoring what Google says? Also yes. This is because I believe the definition of batchworking means getting a bunch of work done in a batch of time, limiting distractions, and prioritizing productivity. And do I believe adding an extra character where it’s not needed – that space between “batch” and “work” – isn’t necessary? For the third time, yes. 

So welcome to the basics of batchworking. I’m your host, let’s get started! 

What is Batchworking?

If we actually listen to Google (or our friend Jenna Kutcher), batchworking is defined as “a productivity technique that involves completing similar tasks in a group, rather than individually.” Seems simple, yes? But alas, as social marketers know best, the many hats we wear day in and day out pull us in lots of different directions; we keep several balls in the air but by doing so, we can inhibit our potential to accomplish more in the average workday. Batchworking is a tool that you can use at your disposal to power through tasks that have historically taken weeks or months to complete. And here’s how. 

When to Batchwork

Now that we’re interested in batchworking, the question now becomes: To batchwork or not to batchwork? A good rule of thumb is to look at the extremes: What duties of your role do you really enjoy? And which would you prefer no longer resided as part of your job description?

For example, I really enjoy editing videos. When in Premier working with a certain batch (hehe) of clips, I’m not only thinking about the New Hire Welcome video I’m creating for use internally but also 1) how can these clips be turned into a Vimeo or YouTube video, 2) can I cut the answer to this one question for a social post? 3) I’m going to snag that quote to act as a lead-in for next week’s video project. By dissecting the footage, pulling apart all the good stuff, and allowing myself the time to do so, I not only have three long-form videos, but several clips for social, quotes for blogs, b-roll, and much more. I have a solid 7+ timelines going at all times, to put it in perspective. 

On the flip side, reporting is not my jam. But there it resides on my to-do list each month. Yay…

So this also makes for the perfect project to batchwork! I set aside an afternoon to comb through all the analytics (the bane of this creative’s existence), analyze what’s working and what’s not, take tons of notes, and wrap up. I find that by blocking out a chunk of time specifically to do this 1) ensures it gets done and prevents procrastination, and 2) provides the opportunity to not only gather but analyze the information I’m looking at and put it to good use. 

Below are some additional instances where you might explore batchworking. 

Research-Based Initiatives 

I’ve found that the best projects to batchwork are ones that require a great deal of research. Say you’re celebrating a national day pertaining to your organization. As you dive into the depths of the internet in search of the history of the day, who founded it, how it’s celebrated in different parts of the work, and so on, use this hyper-focus to your advantage. Be a sponge when doing your research and use that to power your project. Pull out a quote for an Instagram story. Jot down a stat for LinkedIn. Bookmark that interview for a blog page. Request that expert to be a guest on your podcast. 

By hyper-focusing on the research on this one topic – in this instance, the national day – you’re able to fully absorb all the information that’s presented and push it out to your different channels.


Most industries will have a busy season and, therefore, then an offseason. For retail, this may come in Q1. For educators, it’s the summertime. When is your industry’s offseason and are you taking advantage of it? While a bit of respite is often earned (and well-deserved) after a busy season, don’t let your productivity dip. Use this time when distractions are limited to batchwork content or projects to set you up for success in the future. Oftentimes organizations stay on top of things during peak season due to the preparation and batchworking done beforehand. 

Solo Projects

Collaboration makes the world go ‘round but sometimes, all you need is a good old-fashioned solo project, where you take it from the idea phase right into its full expression. This is the ideal project to batchwork as solo projects are, well, solo. You can take it at your own pace, notate, research, and do everything you need to in a process that works for you.

When Not to Batchwork 

Collaborative Projects

If you’ve got a project on your plate that needs data from the analytics team, insight from customer experience, a few quotes from leadership plus approval from legal, batchworking might not be the way to go. Once you’ve amassed all the pieces, you may take a chunk of time to put it all together but it’s hard to batchwork making a meal when you haven’t bought the ingredients. 

During Crunch Time

Similar to the “offseason” section above, it’s not a stretch to remind you that it may not be the best idea to batchwork during crunch time. Now this can look different from industry to industry but if there are fires that need to be put out, and the responsibility to put them out does indeed fall to you, it’s probably not the best time to put in your headphones and crank out a few blog posts. Similarly, if emotions tend to run high during your organization’s “crunch time” or you can feel stress levels elevating, even if the fires aren’t yours to put out, pushing off your next batchworking session and being present with your team can go a long way. 

Time-Sensitive Items

Do not confuse batchworking with cramming (though yes, there can be some overlap). Ideally, a batchworking session is pre-planned and prepared for. If you have a rapidly approaching deadline, batchworking it in the endzone should be the audible; it’s not the game-winning play. 

Additionally, some things pop up that marketers can’t plan for. Things like negative reviews, security breaches, and other things that plague PR teams should be dealt with promptly. Do not let time-sensitive items collect until your next batchworking session; you might just miss the trend or turn away a customer. 

Tips for a successful batchworking session: 

  • Block-Off Batch Time: The first bit of batchworking is blocking off the time to do so. Depending on the project, your responsibilities, and several other factors, batchworking looks different for everyone. Afternoons from around 1-4 work well for me but I have night owl friends who work late into the night as well as colleagues who’ll go MIA for days on end. However you groove best, be sure to block a decent chuck of time off on your calendar to allot to batchworking. 
  • Prioritize & Pre-Plan: While, yes, the majority of the work you’ll complete will be while actually batchworking, take a few minutes ahead of the session to plan. What projects are a priority? Do you see any themes arising on your to-do list? What do you plan to accomplish in your time batchworking? Map that all out and check off the tasks one by one during your batchworking session. 
  • Do Not Disturb (your best friend): This feature is available on most devices and when batchworking, use it! The key here is to limit distractions. Stay off messaging apps and out of Outlook. During a batchworking session, the goal is to ignore everything but the project or topic at hand. But do so responsibly…
  • Let Your Team Know! Leave an away message in Teams, update an out-of-office message, or my favorite: I have a coworker who has a physical sign on her desk that reads, “Headphones In” to alert visitors that she’s in the zone. Protect that zone by putting the message out there that you are not checking messages and there’s a reason why. This allows your team to respect your batchworking time but also know that you are also alive and well if going off the grid is unusual for you (which seems to be the case for social media marketers; we’re always online). 
  • Review & Revise: Being “in the groove” is a great place to be. I caution, you, though not to turn in, publish, or submit anything straight out of a batchworking session. Always allot extra time after the session – ideally the next day – to review the work you’ve completed and ensure it’s in tip-top shape. Sometimes we get so far in the groove that key facts or details can be missing from a piece of work. 

If you’re looking to maximize your productivity, try batchworking! These tips are meant to help you find your groove. The ability to churn out work quickly and efficiently is the dream of most marketers, yes? Give this technique a try and see what you can accomplish when you settle in with a to-do list, block out distractions, and tackle a batch of work.


Author: Natalie Droeske, SMS

Natalie Droeske is an NISM Advisory Board member and a marketing specialist for MedOne Pharmacy Benefit Solutions in Dubuque, IA. She has been a NISM-certified Social Media Strategist since 2020 and is a 2019 graduate of Loras College. She holds a degree in English: Creative Writing with minors in Journalism and Public Writing & Rhetoric.
Connect with Natalie on LinkedInInstagram, and X.


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