If you work with the same customers, month in month out, it’s incredibly easy to get into a comfortable working routine. However, comfort doesn’t always correlate with productive and efficient working (unfortunately!); sometimes you need to mix things up a bit in order to revitalise your working habits, and this year I’m trialling ‘Super Chunking’ to do just that.
It sounds a little bit like a euphemism for vomit, or a variety of ice cream, but super chunking is when you combine similar activities that you carry out multiple times a week (or month) into a single session in order to optimise being in that particular ‘zone’.
If you have a business podcast (or work on one on behalf of a client), for example, think about the way that you usually work through the process of creating, publishing and promoting the podcast. It may be that you record them once a week, then spend an hour later in the week editing the recording, and then spend an hour at another point in the week uploading the audio to a podcasting website or platform and then promoting it across email and social media marketing. If you only do one job per week like this, it can take a few minutes every time you work on the task before you comfortably remember how to carry out the process – we’ve all had a brain-melt experience when carrying out a task that you’re generally quite familiar with! The idea of ‘super-chunking’ is that you are able to significantly reduce the preparation time (and downtime) that usually comes with spending only a single hour or two on a particular task, by dedicating a whole day, or even numerous days, to the same task. Why not record all of your podcasts over a few days, then edit them in a single session, then schedule them to your podcasting platform all in one go with the relevant show notes and imagery… It really does work! Earlier this month I carried out this very activity and found that processing and uploading 4 podcasts in one go, rather than four separate sessions, saved a good couple of hours overall from the time I would usually have set aside for this task – an extra couple of hours that I could then use for some all-important self-care time or business development.
Obviously, this doesn’t work with every task that you do – if you are monitoring email inboxes, then this isn’t necessarily work that you can super-chunk! Some tasks are much better suited to a ‘little and often’ approach, particularly if they involve urgent or time-sensitive jobs (like forwarding important emails to relevant personnel to be dealt with quickly), but some technical or creative jobs, like website updates or content writing, work well with this ‘super chunking’ approach.
Are there any tasks that you could super-chunk this year to free up some valuable working hours? It would be great to hear your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!