Friday, August 3, 2018

How the Batching Method Inspires Writing Creativity

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. As a result, it increases your productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness, while decreasing fatigue, procrastination, and stress. Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion. – Michael Hyatt

The method of batching is relatively new to me so perhaps together we can learn a few ways to give it a try.

Tips for Batching
Schedule: Those who convinced us that multi-tasking is the answer to productivity were ill informed. Studies now show that trying to accomplish multiple things at one time wreaks havoc on productivity. In comparison, setting aside blocks of time to do similar tasks can decrease distractions and increase productivity two-fold. 

So what does using the batching method to schedule have to do with creativity? Robert Dickey III puts it best, “Real creativity, the kind that leads to breakthroughs in thinking and design, require long stretches of deep, uninterrupted concentrations. Multitasking is the biggest threat to real creativity. It makes us less productive, and requires a lot of energy.” 

Batching also gives us freedom to work in accordance with our natural rhythms. If clarity and creativity punch their time clock in the mornings, consider batching your writing time during those hours and save the afternoon for those things that don’t require the same intensity. 

I began the batching process by first defining what success meant to me. Was success hitting my word count for the day, but asking my husband to settle for a sandwich instead of a hot meal? The answer lies in the form of another question: Would he prefer grape or strawberry jelly with that peanut butter? Thankfully, this is rarely my response but bundling frees time to get the work tasks done so I can fully enjoy my family…and a good meal. 

Creative Space:Using the batch method helps to create space in both our mind and schedule. Now let’s take a step back and look at our workspace with fresh eyes because it all works together to inspire creativity. 

Is there at least one thing in your creative space that speaks to your soul, causes you to pause for a few moments, or whispers a word of gratitude? Maybe it’s a picture of your family, a quote or scripture verse, or an encouraging note from a reader that brings a quick smile to your face. 

Consider creating an inspiration board. It will give you a defined space—a place to pause, ponder and appreciate what you see, even if only for a few moments. 

Clear the Mind:In the same way debris fills a wastebasket, clutter can fill our mind. It can come in the form of confusion, internal chatter, competitiveness, and an underlying sense of chaos. While we’re quick to keep our physical areas clear of clutter, we often neglect the damaging thoughts and lies we sometimes allow to occupy our mind. It’s time to kick them to the curb!

Proverbs 4:23 says, Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.For instance, when we choose to believe the lie that everyone else is more talented than we are, we not only second-guess God’s choices for our lives, but we also give self-pity a seated place in our mind. Imagine what we could create if we used the time spent comparing ourselves to others to instead hone our skills. 

So how do we kick the clutter to the curb? Begin with prayer. Psalm 139:23 says, Search me, God, and know my heart.The heart and mind are interchangeable in the Bible. 

Batch an hour for spending time writing down truth to refute the lies threatening to clutter our mind. If confusion is the struggle, write down 1 Corinthians 14:33: For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.Embrace the reality that God never plays hide-and-seek with us. 

When we allow God to access and reveal the crumpled up clutter in the corners of our mind, we make way to be the creative artist He gifted us to be. 

What one tip for organizing our writing time can you share? 

Favorite links to learning more about the batching method: 

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. As a twenty-five year veteran Bible instructor, she's led hundreds of studies and workshops. She's also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the SoulThe Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies.

She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas. Subscribe to Cathy’s blog at and receive a free e-book, “Praying In Every Room of Your Home.”


  1. Thank you for this reminder on the batching process. I've let things spiral out of control in the last few weeks as I prepare for a book release. And more pointedly, thanks for this reminder: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." I tend to wallow in self-pity! Thanks for jump-starting my day.

    1. Congratulations on your book release, Betty! It's an exciting - and stressful - time. Soak it in, don't be too hard on yourself, and enjoy. It's a huge accomplishment.

  2. Great concept and ideas Ms. Cathy. Thanks so much for sharing ma'am. Not sure that it's "batching", but I always like to start my writing time with prayer and quiet time. It clears my mind and helps me organize my thoughts. God's blessings for your willingness to share and inspire others.

    1. Thanks, Jim. Regardless of what we call it, if we find a method that works, that's what matters most. I can't imagine a better way to start a time of writing. Blessings on your work!

  3. From years working in an office where I was taught to handle each item as it came in, it's hard for me to ignore certain things. It's quicker to dispatch of the task at the time. However, as a writer that doesn't always work. The interruptions take me out of my story world. I KNOW I need to learn to do this. but at my age, I'm not sure I'll ever change. I try, but then that urgent text or email comes in. I understand turning off email and leaving my phone in the other room can help, but there are some thing I have to be available for. But I am trying to batch as much as I can. Thanks for the post. It has me organizing my mind, at least. :)

    1. And maybe that's enough, at least for now. The trick is allowing ourselves to learn from new ideas and then implementing those that work for us. Write on, Ane! Thanks for taking the time to share.

  4. The verses your references are some of my favorites and I have studied a bit how the mind works and multitasking is actually brain damaging. But as a homeschool mother and rancher it’s a hard habit to break- managing and keeping so many alive and fed.
    I work best by habits...
    First cappuccino, Bible, and prayer
    Then I write.
    Then barn chores, laundry, and breakfast for the guys.
    And on and on... somewhere in there is supposed to be a 3 mile walk and some yoga but that doesn’t often happen.
    Evenings and afternoons are supposed to be reading and maybe a horseback ride, but again, there seems to be one thing or another calling for attention. I do guard my mornings at least.
    I think the rest would happen consistently too if I was adamant about asking them happen. It falls again to habits...
    But definitely trying to outlaw multitasking as a way of life as I get older. That means saying no to many things. A cluttered agenda book scrambles my brains.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It was a good little shake up this morning to remind me to manage my whole day, not just mornings.

    1. A homeschool mom, a rancher, and a writer? I'm totally impressed. :) And it seems we have some similar habits (especially your top four!) I agree, Dalyn, trying to outlaw multi-tasking isn't easy, but I'm seeing results in both my writing and home life. Thank you for taking time to share. :) Have a great weekend!

    2. Thank you for encouraging the multitudes, I’ve acrually printed your post out.

  5. I've not heard the term before, but the idea is an old one. (And a good one.) I love your verse for "Confusion." Can you think of one for "Procrastination?" It's my time waster.

    1. Procrastination sneaks up on me as well, Jackie. I'll try to think of a verse for both of us. :) Blessings!

  6. Batching is quite appealing, Cathy. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading the resources you provided, to!

    1. Thank you, Charla! Those were some of my go-to sites for learning the method. Have a great weekend. :)

  7. What a challenge, Cathy! As someone who has been conditioned to multi-tasking for years in my teaching career and family situation, I didn't know there was any other way to get it all done. But, after reading your post, I can definitely see the merits of batching. Going to try! Thanks for sharing.