5 Online Tasks You Should Do in Bulk to Save Time

During the work day, we do a lot of little tasks that are distracting. From checking email to managing social media, we engage in activities that take only a few minutes of our time, but we divert our attention to them several times a day, if not several times an hour. Yet every time we transition to these small tasks from what we were doing, then transition back, we lose time. We also lose mental focus. By doing these tasks all at the same time, we’ll save time and be more productive.

Here are the top 5 online activities I see myself and others doing constantly. If we could learn to do schedule in times to do them at once, we would be significantly more productive with our work.

1. Check & Respond to Email

It’s a common habit to check emails whenever they come in. Since most people have a desktop email client and email on their phones, we’re notified the instant they come in. We stop what we’re doing, go check them, respond if necessary, then go back to work. It even creates a bad habit where we go in to refresh our inboxes to see if there’s anything new.

Close your email client. Put your phone away. Get to work. Schedule a few times through the day to handle your email in bulk. Maybe once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at the end of the day. Most of the time you don’t even respond right away, so there’s no urgency to be notified immediately.

2. Schedule Email Marketing Campaigns

Companies will often draft emails to their subscriber lists whenever they are ready to send them out. If you send less than once a month, that may be fine. But if you email your lists more often than that, you really should write several at a time.

Not only does it save you time, but you can actually plan a campaign. Rather than each email being on it’s own on a completely random topic, think through the overarching message you want to tell your subscribers.

3. Schedule Social Media Posts

With all the tools that are available out there, there is no reason why you should still be posting to social media on the fly. Some platforms you can’t help, like Instagram. However, with networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you’ll save a ton of time if you schedule them in bulk.

My favorite tools to use are Buffer and Hootsuite, which allow you to load up multiple posts on set times, and have them autopost during the week. Try to schedule a week or a month at a time.

4. Engage in Social Media

What I see a lot of social media managers do is constantly check their social feeds sporadically throughout the day. They do this especially right after they’ve done a post. They’ll log in every few minutes to see if there’s a notification, eager to see the engagement and respond. This is completely unnecessary.

Unless your brand is at the size where hundreds of comments flood in within the first few minutes of posting, you don’t need to check back that often. Schedule in a time every day to go into your social feeds, respond to whatever comments and replies you get, then leave it alone till the next day.

5. Write Blogs

Writing blog a blog post takes a lot of time and energy, especially if it’s something you’re not especially skilled at. You often wait until the deadline for the blog post and try to conjure something up. Or you wait until you feel like it’s been a while since you posted something, and you quickly put a post together.

Though it makes for longer work hours, try writing several blog posts at a time. If you publish multiple times a week, try writing them all in a day. If you publish once a week, try writing them all on at once for the month.

 

By doing all your tasks like email, social media, and blogging together in bulk, you can actually save a lot of time and mental energy. Want to know more about how you can increase your productivity? Check out this post with videos:

The Science of Productive Work

Do you currently bulk schedule any of these tasks? Are there any other tasks that you do in bulk? Share with me in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “5 Online Tasks You Should Do in Bulk to Save Time”

  1. I’m doing so-so – I do have specified times for e-mail and social media, and I schedule tweets in advance when I feel like it.

    My newsletter is monthly so no biggie, but my blog posts – each one takes me an entire day to create from draft to publish-ready, so there’s not much for me to “batch” – unless this means taking an entire week just for writing blogs 🙂
    (My blog posts are pretty long. 1500-2000 words is average.)

    I could theoretically draft multiple posts, then edit multiple posts, then create multiple blog graphics… But I’m not sure I have the energy for doing the same type of task for such a long period of time.

  2. @nelchee:disqus- 1500-2000 is a great length! Longer articles are getting more traction now. I wish I had the focus to write longer. I know once I start, it’s easier to finish the post rather than bounce around. But I will come up with topics, titles, and outlines in bulk. That way I plan out the next few months at the same time. Then I just hit the posts one at a time

  3. Wow Farideh, 2016 is impressive! I only recently started to go from one month our to three months out, and I thought that was aggressive!

    There’s a social media tool called Edgar that might with not having to post so much, I wrote a review here: https://sparkflow.co/blog/save-time-on-social-media-marketing-meet-edgar-review/

    Also, I did a short little free video course that aims to help you spend less time in social media, if it might be helpful to you: https://sparkflow.co/freesocialmediacourse

  4. I hope people have enough focus to read those articles, though! 😀
    My longer ones go well over 3000 words and I cringe every time I realize that, but I just can’t bring myself to cut things out.

    Planning outlines in bulk is actually a good idea.
    I’m not very diligent in outlining. I usually dump a stream of consciousness when I’m really inspired to write on a topic into a document, and then add headings when I edit.

  5. Have you ever read anything by Neil Patel? Check out neilpatel.com and quicksprout.com – his average posts are about 2500 words, but he gets a ton of traffic and engagement. He’s real good with breaking up his paragraphs to only be 2-3 sentences long, and has a lot of photos in his posts. Helps a lot with readability.

  6. I did, yes. I’m using short paragraphs and images too, though in my case it complicates things further – my work is all about visuals, so I create all my own graphics, which takes even more time… So yeah, blogging is very, very time consuming 🙂

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