If you’re a regular here on the blog, you know we love to talk process. In our experience, much of a business’s success (or failure) can be chalked up to the efficiency of their daily tasks. Even the most talented designers cannot run a sustainable business without thoughtful organization and structure. If fact, we’ve devoted an entire online course to the topic!
That being said, we have outlined a number of our own practices here, from how we name our files to how we streamline client communication. Today, we are talking batch scheduling—blocking off a set amount of time to complete an entire task without interruptions before moving on. This strategy has been so impactful in our day-to-day. If you feel scattered and like your to-do list never gets done, give it a try. Not only does it keep us on task, but checking something off your list gives you such a sense of accomplishment that you feel like you can tackle the rest of the day with no problem.
Every business is different, but these are the tasks we think are the best fit for batch work.
Setting a designated time for dealing with your inbox has a double benefit: you don’t get behind on emails AND you aren’t distracted by incoming messages all day long. We check our email/respond as needed at 11:30 and 4:30. We find it’s not best to do it first thing in the morning as it’s better to set the tone for the day with actual work, so we do it right before lunch and right before we wrap for the day. This gives us something to look forward to during the tedious task of read, sort, reply, etc.
Placing orders can take up so much time and is easy to put off. Set aside a few hours a week to do all of your ordering so you don’t have to worry about it for another week.
Most successful social media accounts are super active and have great two-way engagement. It might even make you wonder how they have the time to post so often and reply to comments and shares. Their secret? Batch work. We actually recommend planning + setting up your social media posts for the entire month, then set aside an hour each day to engage with your audience and community. Uploading ahead of time keeps you active even on chaotic days and frees up your brain space for the work in front of you in that moment.
Set a specific time for sourcing so you aren’t trying to squeeze it in between site visits and client calls. It’s okay to source for multiple projects at once.
We know your client list is diverse, but trust us on this. Work on all your current presentations during a blocked-out time each week. This will help you develop a sort of template for your presentations that will make you so much more efficient at assembling them.
I meet so many people who dread talking on the phone, even for potential business. It’s just nearly impossible to multi-task during and it can be such a mental drain. It’s necessary, though, so set a time each week for phone calls with potential clients and current clients for two reasons:
Do you know what’s the worst? When you’re in the productivity zone and you look at the clock and it’s almost time for you to be somewhere and you have to rush and leave and lose all that good energy. The solution: set aside a day for in-person consultations so you aren’t always leaving the comfort of your office and your train of thought for a brand new project.
Just think of it as meal prep for work! Any tedious task that distracts you throughout the day is worth considering for batch work. I hope these tips help you to be more efficient so that you can spend more time doing the parts of your job that you love!
To learn more about leveling up your business, check out Studio Sessions; our online mastermind courses for interior designers.
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IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.