The Seven Elements of Book Cover Design

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(Check out the vlog version of this post)

Your book’s cover is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal.

Whether we like it or not, we all judge books by their covers.

In traditional publishing, professional designers are responsible for creating a book’s cover. Sometimes the publisher will ask the author for input and sometimes the publisher will present the author with several mock-ups and ask for their opinion. Most of the time, however, these decisions are made in-house.

There are seven basic elements that inform a book cover’s design. They are:

  • The country it’s being published in
  • Design trends
  • The novel’s theme, plot and characters
  • Genre
  • Whether it is a stand-alone or part of a series
  • The target audience
  • The author’s brand

Different Covers for Different Countries

Have you noticed that many popular books have different covers in different countries?

The US, UK and Australian versions of any one book often have very different styles.

This happens because the publisher’s US, UK or Australian division have tasked a ‘local’ in-house designer with creating a cover that will appeal to that specific country’s readership. What appeals to an American horror reader differs from one based in the UK or Australia … apparently.

Self-published/indie authors tend to use the same cover for every country. Though it is easier than ever to get your self-published book into bricks and mortar stores, the truth is that the bulk of sales occur online through print by demand distributors. This system makes it nearly impossible to create country-specific book covers and most indie authors would struggle to find the funds for such adventures anyway. That being said, many indie authors experience plentiful sales across multiple countries using the same cover design.

Trends

Trends have a huge impact on a cover’s design. You have already noticed that bold colours, large or hand-drawn typography and illustrations are the current trend. This handcrafted style is a push against technology and digitisation while simultaneously acknowledging the cultural rise of artesian craftsmanship such as boutique wineries, cheesemakers and rocking-horse makers, etc.

Theme, Plot or Character

The most common factors that influence a book’s cover are its themes, plot and characters. Often, the significance of these elements isn’t clear until after the book has been read. However, the cover should be striking enough to intrigue potential readers. If the protagonist has long blonde hair, a woman with a similar appearance may appear on the cover. If the plot is driven by the protagonist’s duty to protect a mysterious ancient talisman, the protagonist may be depicted as holding the talisman while looking over her shoulder. Repeated imagery, metaphors or symbols may also work their way onto the cover depending on their significance to the overall plot and aesthetic appeal.

Genre

The book’s genre will also influence its design. As you’ve no doubt noticed, romance books have very different covers to horror and science fiction books, historical novels differ from crime novels and chick-lit differs from fantasy. Non-fiction books have very different covers to literary and genre novels, because the tropes, mood and purpose of these respective categories are very different.

Non-fiction books typically seek to entertain, inspire or inform their readers. Genre books are driven by story/plot and each specific genre has its own unique tropes. Literary novels are driven by ideas; the story isn’t about the story, it’s a metaphor for something else.

Stand-alone or Part of a Series

There is a continuity between book series’ covers so that fans of that series can easily identify which books belong to the series. This is particularly important if an author has multiple series under their name. Though each series may fall under the same genre, each series will have its own distinct look.

Target Audience

A book’s target audience has a huge influence over a book cover’s design. The reader’s age, gender, occupation and interests are just a few of the qualities a designer may consider when creating a cover. Some of the questions a designer will consider are: Who is this book for? A mother is her mid-forties? A teenage boy? An elderly gardening enthusiast? For example, a novel aimed at male video game players in their early twenties won’t have a pastel green cover dotted in pink flowers, but one aimed at an elderly gardening enthusiast might.

Author Brand

The last thing to consider is the author’s brand. Author branding is not a new concept, but the rise of the internet, social media and self-publishing have certainly increased our awareness of it. An author’s brand is essentially how they present themselves to their audience.

A brand is a promise an author makes to their audience so that readers know what to expect from them and their fiction.

Branding includes the visual images that appear on an author’s website and social media pages in the form of banners, layout, photography and even typography. If the author publishes non-fiction books, then their online aesthetic may influence their book cover’s design. This is rarely the case with indie and traditionally published fiction authors. Instead, a continuity may exist across all the author’s covers so that fans can easily identify works written by that particular author.

You may have noticed that some books and series are re-branded every five to ten years. As previously mentioned, a book’s cover is the most powerful marketing tool available to both authors and publishers. Book covers are often up-dated/re-branded in response to changing trends and reader feedback. A book’s target audience doesn’t change, but the members of that audience do. Readers grow older and their interests and reading preferences shift. Publishers and indie author’s update their book covers in order to appeal to current members of the target audience.

Covers contain a lot of embedded information and they are our first impression of a book. A great book cover should make a reader feel something, and if that reader does feel something, they are far more likely to pick the book off the shelf, turn it over and read the blurb. (Or, click on the image and read the description).

A book contains many thousands of words, but a picture, as the saying goes, contains only one thousand—and that is why you must make it count.

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The Permission to Write

You get to write whatever stories you want to write.

I do my best to read widely. That includes everything from Wyoming cowboy and Indian mysteries to urban vampire romps to family dramas set in Melbourne to novels about eighteenth-century American botanists. I read classics, historical fiction, literary fiction, short stories, series, crime, and lately, I’ve returned to Fantasy—something that I haven’t read since I was a teenager. Then there is the occasional science fiction, speculative, or young adult novel.

The only criteria I have is that you (the writer) tell me (the reader) a good story.

I hate genre shaming. No one should make you feel bad about liking chick-lit, general popular fiction, romance or sci-fi. You have the right to like what you like free from judgement. I equally detest the question ‘what are your guilty reads?’ Lord knows there are a few novels on my bookshelf that some readers would be ashamed to place alongside last year’s Booker or their copy of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Incidentally, it’s highly likely that neither novel has been read. Don’t all budding author have unread copies of infinite jest on their bookshelf?

The point is, no one should be embarrassed about the fact that they enjoy Outlander, Harry Potter, Throne of Glass or any other work deemed shameful because it has achieved mainstream success.

Similarly, no one should be made to feel bad about the contemporary rom-com/epic fantasy/space opera that is their current WIP.

You are allowed to write whatever you like.

You are allowed to write highbrow literary fiction that no-one will get.

You are allowed to write erotica even though your mum might read it.

You are allowed to write a story about a vampire detective and his werewolf sidekick with whom he has a crush on.

There are writing rules but there are no rules about writing.

If we start censoring our creative desires and impulses, then what is the point in writing at all? Why put all that time and energy into writing something that you’re not even into?

If you don’t enjoy working on your story, then you may as well get a day job because a) it would be easier and b) it would pay more.

If you’re looking for a permission slip to write that cosy mystery, cosmic horror or outback romance novel that is the work of your heart, considered it give.

Write what you want to write!

How To Write A Manifesto

How To Create A Writing Manifesto

What is a manifesto?

A manifesto is a curation of succinct phrases that best represent your intentions, opinions and aspirations. Typically, they are presented in the form of a list. So, how would a writing manifesto differ from a list of writing rules?

Writing rules are practical. A writing manifesto is inspirational. A manifesto embodies your idealised view of the world, the vision you hold for the future and your core beliefs as they relate to creativity and craft. Though a manifesto may be created through a particular lens – creativity, business, health – these principles can often be applied to other areas of life.

How do you create one?

Creating a manifesto is easy, but if you’re looking for a little inspiration then check out the list of published manifesto included below.

You can write your manifesto whatever way you want to – it’s your manifesto after all. However, if you want to make your manifesto easy to remember I recommended that you make each principle as clear & succinct as possible. For example: “I always feel better after I have written so I will write every day whether I feel like it or not” could be rewritten as “Write every day” or “Inspiration follows action.”

A writing manifesto is a tailor constitution that reflects your unique understanding and experiences with the craft. The purpose of the manifesto is to inspire and ignite you – especially on days when you’re as excited as a wet sock. Once you’ve created your manifesto, it’s a good idea to hang it near your desk as a reminder of how and why you do this crazy thing called writing.

There’s a million way you can go about writing a manifesto, but here are a few easy questions to get you started:

I write because…

Writing makes me feel…

Writing means …

In order to write, I need to…

What’s the purpose of a manifesto?

Creating a manifesto can be a lot of fun and it’s a great way to inject a little creative and playfulness into your writing. And that’s a good thing especially if you suffer from any of the following:

  • perfectionism
  • rigidness
  • taking things too damn seriously

Given that this post is all about writing manifestos, I thought it was only fair that I share mine.

Writing Manifesto

  1. Inspiration follows action
  2. The story already exists, you just have to type it out
  3. Stories have their own logic and it’s your job to follow it
  4. Resisting writing is more painful than writing
  5. No one care if the house is clean but everyone cares if you’re happy and writing makes you happy
  6. Dreams don’t work unless you do
  7. Writing happens even when you’re not writing
  8. It’s easier to write every day than once in a while
  9. New ideas are delicate, keep them close to your chest
  10. Write one good sentence, then another, then another.

 

Being an Active Member in Your Writing Community

Also Known as Good Writing Karma

Let’s be honest, as creatives, we can sometimes become a little self-involved with our creative process, our routines and art-making. This seclusion and intense inward focus is often a necessary part of the practice, but it’s equally important that we take the time to support other creatives and members of our writing and reading community. That’s just good karma. If you’re running a little thin on ideas don’t worry, the below suggestions will help get you started.

Write Reviews and Leave Comments

As a writer, you know how much time, energy and sacrifice goes into the creation of a book. That’s why it means so much to us when someone takes the time to acknowledge or praise our work. If you’ve enjoyed reading a particular book, take the time to write a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Not only are you telling the author how much you loved their book you’re also supporting the success of that book as the number of reviews – especially positive reviews – greatly effects book sales.

Lots of positive reviews = More book sales.

No reviews = No sales.

We’ve all experienced the warm fuzzy feeling that follows ANY compliment; doubly so when the compliment is about our creative work. Giving the gift of praise to another writer is damn good karma. Cos let’s be honest, so often we slave away on a piece of writing that even our parents and friends can’t be bothered reading. That’s why it’s so important that we support one another and that we give each other praise and feedback. Not only do we value language and story in a way that non-writers do we also know the discipline and sacrifice it took to make that book, article or blog.  Let writers know that you enjoyed their work. Write a review, leave a comment and spread that writerly love!

Shop Locally

It’s vital that we support small local independent business whenever we can. Yeah, you can buy books cheaper online, but such purchases rarely come with a smile, additional recommendations or bookish banter. Plus, you don’t have to wait 1-7 days for said purchase to arrive. Instead, you can crack that spine within thirty seconds of leaving the story. Instant gratification!

If you DON’T support your local bookstore, then one day you may not have one. Ask yourself the following question: do you really want to live in a town that doesn’t have a bookstore?

The books at your local store may be a touch more expensive, but you’re paying for the privilege of leisurely browsing, picking up physical books, flipping them over and reading the blurb. You get to amble past shelves that haven’t been organised by a logarithm. You get to see books that haven’t been curated according to prior purchases. This small freedom may introduce you to a new book or novelist; pleasures yet to be experienced. You are also paying for the bookseller’s expertise. If you give the assistant a few clues, they’ll meet it with a handful of recommendations – books that you may not have instinctively picked up.

You get to amble past shelves that haven’t been organised by a logarithm. You get to see books that haven’t been curated according to prior purchases.

A bookstore is not a shop. It is a community centre where authors, budding writers and readers can meet in real life. It is a place where you can discuss the latest Zadie Smith, Tim Winton or Ann Patchett novel and you won’t be met with blank stares. It is our place. That’s why it is so important that we show up and support it with our time, money and presence.

Critiquing

Writing can be a lonely business and we don’t always do a good job of assessing the strengths and weaknesses in our own work. If there is a member of your writing network (physical or virtual) whose company or storytelling you enjoy, consider offering to critique their work. Remember, the ideal critique partner is someone who is kind and honest. Always start your critiques with positive feedback by highlighting the works strengths and any sentences that you found beautiful, poetic or technically impressive. Whatever weaknesses you do identify, be sure to deliver that criticism kindly followed by a suggestion on how they could potentially resolve it. You shouldn’t offer to critique someone’s writing with the expectation that your generosity be reciprocated. If your partner does make such as offer be sure to take them up on it and say thank you — just don’t expect it!

Sensitivity Reader

If your novel deals with some heavy themes or if you’re representing marginalised groups, then you should consider hiring a sensitivity reader. Of course, writers can write about anything, but readers (and critics) also have the right to tear that author to shreds if they do a bad job. Sensitivity readers are useful if you are writing about an experience you haven’t had, or if you are writing from the perspective of a character whose race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental abilities are different from your own. You are responsible for your representation of people from marginalised groups and people who’ve had traumatic experiences, so act responsibly. A simple Google search will provide you with a host of readers you can approach. Once you’ve made contact, they’ll be able to tell you whether they are the most appropriate person to proofread your work.

The last thing the world needs is more poorly research literature. Books and words have power and we need to be careful about the way we use these tools.

It’s important that we make time for the crafting of our stories, but it’s also important that we make the time to support other writers, readers and book lovers. This is our tribe and we need to take care of it.

 

Interview with Crime Writer Gregory James

I first met Greg three years ago when we enrolled in the same Creative Writing course. Though our writing paths have since taken different directions, our mutual obsession for reading and writing crime fiction has remained the same. I had the good fortunate of reading an early draft of Bordertown when Greg enlisted me as one of his beta-readers. A good plot is an essential element to every crime novel, but it was Detective Robert “Bo” Campbell that kept me turning the pages.

Bordertown follows Detective Bo after he accidentally shoots and kills his best friend and partner during a bungled inner-city drug raid. Exiled to a remote post on the border until his troubles blow over, Bo finds himself in the middle of a cover-up as the corrupt police force conceal the fact that half a dozen indigenous women have gone missing. Bo has to ask himself whether he is willing to risk everything in order to save this broken border community.

  1. Was your earlier career as a Detective the reason why you chose to write a crime novel or were you always a fan of the genre?

Not necessarily, but obviously I have an interest (even now) in crime. I still love watching it, reading about it and even listening to it (podcasts) even though I’ve lived it for the last 25 odd years! Back in my teenage years, I loved an author by the name of Robert G Barrett. His protagonist, Les Norton, was an anti-hero and was largely on the other side of the law. These days, I can’t get enough of Michael Connelly and his character Harry Bosch.

  1. Did your experience as a Detective make writing Bo’s story easier or harder because you are so familiar with this job? Did you find that you needed to do much research?

I think that it made it easier in a sense because I knew the police procedure. I have a pretty good idea of how things work, obviously, and how things are generally done. This is an area where some crime fiction writers can get it wrong. I always tell those authors to visit their local detective. You might need to get past the grumpy ones and find one that will help! But Bordertown is set in the early 1980s, a time when I was still at school. So, yes, I had to do quite a bit of research about what was happening in those days; the uniforms, appointments, vehicles and the like were all different. The political climate was different. In my view, it’s important to get these things right.

  1. How long did it take you to write Bordertown and how does the finished novel compare to your initial ideas/drafts?

I started Bordertown in 2013 when I was in the process of learning the craft of fiction writing. And, it is a craft. I often hear people say that they’d “like to write a book” and “should write a book” which is great. But one has to learn the craft of formulating a novel. You’d be a freak if you could just do it without any knowledge! I know that I spend many years doing courses (online and in class), going to conferences, talking to published authors and reading/researching the craft of writing. I learnt along the way, and the result was the first draft of Bordertown. Not much of a novel at that point, but a draft nonetheless.

The finished product is quite different from early drafts, although the basic premise is the same. A large amount was cut, at least one major character was deleted completely (on the advice of a publisher) and many, many changes made. This was the hardest part of the process for me. Re-writing and re-writing. Moulding and massaging the story. Changing dialogue, tightening the plot and changing direction. Looking back on it, writing the first draft was definitely the easy part!

I launched Bordertown in March 2019, so six years from start to finish is a good estimate. But being an author, much time was spent on other projects, work and life and the story sat idle for some time. I also spent at least 18 months trying to get a publisher.

Greg 1

  1. Do you have a writing routine, if so, can you tell us about it?

The short answer is no. When Bordertown was crafted I had a fair bit of time on my hands, not so much anymore. I used to write when I got into the “zone” and keep writing. Into the future, I hope to dedicate a day to a day and half a week on the next novel. I don’t write every day like the guru’s recommend. I’d love to, but it’s not practical.

  1. What do you know now about writing a novel that you wish you had known in the beginning?

Just how bloody hard it was going to be! But how proud I am of myself to see my written work in print, and to have people enjoy the story. Again though, if you want to write a good novel you need to know how. There are plenty of courses out there to help you.

  1. What advice do you have for other writers interested in self-publishing specifically or publishing in general?

These days, anyone can write a book and self-publish it. My advice is; just do it! Get that book written first though, and get it to a standard that is the same as published books. It’s not going to be cheap, but it will be worth it. Editing (structural and line editing), book design and printing cost a lot of money, but the end result will be something you are proud of. There are also quite a few people to hold your hand through the process (at a price of course). You need to decide whether you need this or will go it alone. In any case, get advice.

One last piece of advice: write the story you want to write. Not what might sell. Not what is popular. Not what publishing agencies are suggesting. Write a story you want to read. You’ll find others want to as well.

~*~

To order a copy of Bordertown, or to find out more about Greg, please visit the links below:

Bordertown Purchase Link

Website: https://gregoryjamesauthor.com

Twitter: @GJames_Author

Facebook: @gjamesauthor

Five Things That Will Derail Your Writing

Five things that will zap my productivity and derail a writing day like nothing else* are a lack of sleep, technology/internet, excessive noise, not knowing what needs to be done next and skipping breaks.

Lack of sleep

This is a tricky one to talk about because we are both in control and not in control of our sleep patterns. A bad night’s sleep doesn’t always derail my productivity, but it does influence what tasks I chose to complete. If I’m sleep deprived, I probably won’t tackle heavy tasks like reading theoretical scholarly texts or writing assignments. If I’m feeling weary, I tend to tackle lighter tasks like writing blogs, editing vlogs or catching up on domestic chores and errands. Of course, there are also times when you just have to take the damn day off.

There are habits you can develop that both assist and hinder your quality of sleep. Avoiding blue-light (laptops, mobiles and even televisions), keeping the room cool, minimising all forms of light and noise from your bedroom and engaging in relaxing activities at least one hour before bed are all good practices to improve your quality of sleep. Doing the exact opposite of this may not affect your sleep, but if you’re struggling to get eight hours of shut-eye, reassessing your sleep-time habits and developing new healthier ones is a must.

The internet, email and social media

This one is fairly obvious, right? The internet/technology is an endless source of interruption with all those bells and dings that alert us whenever we get an email, text or phone call. It is so easy to distract ourselves with social media, email and texting. It is so easy to reach for our phone or web browser whenever a task feels too hard or a problem arises and we don’t know how to fix it. Unless you have an iron will – some days I do and some days I don’t – the best way to combat this problem is by turning off your devices, including your wifi. An even better solution is relocating your workspace to a place where there is no wifi! Hello, dingy café!

Excessive noise

I prefer writing in silence, but that’s not always possible. While I can easily tune out a little background noise, the sound of the television, music playing or people talking can become very distracting. If you can’t relocate your workspace, then I highly recommend that you check out the website ambient-mix.com. This site contains a wide variety of looped white noise soundtracks including Sherlock’s Apartment and Griffindor Common Room. It’s not silence but when combined with a comfy pair of headphones it’s the next best thing.

Not knowing what needs to be done next

This point pertains to just about everything from academic and creative writing to your good old general to-do list. It is so easy to waste time when you don’t know what needs to be done in order to move forward.

If I start a writing session without knowing what needs to happen next, I can waste 10-30 minutes staring at the screen or writing waffle because I’m trying to write my way into the story rather than writing the story. If I refer to my outline or if I spend five minutes writing a mini-outline, then I can dive right into the story because I know what has to happen next.

When it comes to general to-do lists, it’s not always easy to determine which tasks are the priorities. A lengthy to-do list can leave us feeling scatterbrained and overwhelmed, especially when every task seems vital and urgent. Our inner taskmaster will try to convince us that everything is important and everything needs to be done right now, but that is rarely the truth. A simple way to combat this problem is to consider which tasks (if any) have deadlines. If so, start with those – especially if the deadline is soon. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe you need to re-examine your list and ask yourself if any of these tasks can be broken into smaller tasks. For example, you may be torn between writing your next assignment or working on your thesis. Given that your assignment is due first, that task needs to be made the priority. If you are working on a long-term project like writing a thesis, you need to break that HUGE task into small manageable steps like read five journal articles this week and write a 500-word piece that summaries what you’ve learned or find ten sources that will help you write the first chapter.

Skipping breaks

This bad habit has two different forms. First, there is the chugging away day after day after day which can quickly lead to burn out and a week spent on the couch staring at the ceiling or Netflix if that’s your jam. The second is when you work for five hours straight – no stretching, no toilet breaks, no water, no lunch – and then collapse in a heap at 2pm.

Taking a break can seem like a lousy idea when you’re in the flow. And look, if you don’t take a break, the writing police aren’t exactly going to kick down your door, but most of the time we aren’t working in a frenzy because the muse has whacked us with her inspiration stick, we’re simply working. And when you’re simply working, make sure you take regular breaks.

You may enjoy using the Pomodoro technique of working for either 25 or 45 minutes and then having a 5 or 15 minute break. These mini-breaks give you a chance to peel your eyes away from the screen and to stretch your body, get some water or go to the bathroom. Do not check your phone! The idea of these breaks is to get your eyeballs off blue-light screens.

In addition to these physical needs, it also gives your brain a rest! Dani Shapiro said that smoking used to be one of her best writing habits because it allowed her to fully relax for a couple of minutes. This was back in the early nineties i.e. no phones. These days, we fill our “breaks” with social media and texting. Rather than allowing our mind to relax and become empty, we fill them up with images, posts and Insta quotes. Please note, I am not advocating that you take up smoking but what I am saying, and Anne Lammot will back me up here, is that everything works again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you! Giving your brain a mini power down is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of a work day. Instead of going hard and burning out after a couple of hours, you can steadily putt through an entire day.

These five things may be small, but the impact they have on your level of productivity can be huge. Thankfully, all five of these distractions and interruptions can be overcome with a little planning and a splash of will power. Don’t let anything get in the way of finishing your story or reaching your writing goals, not even Instagram!

(*Disclaimer: this list does not include the interrupts and emergencies that life can throw at us. Instead, it focuses on the inconveniences we can control).

Batching Your Tasks

As mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve recently started my doctorate. I’m presently enrolled fulltime, but the completing of this research investigation is hardly the only project on my plate. (Who the heck has ONE project on their plate anyway?)

Over the years, I developed a time blocking schedule where I worked towards the completion of tasks/goals by spending a little bit of time every day working on each task or goal. This meant that I shifted between 3-5 different projects every day and I would spend 1-3 hours on each task. Although I was constantly shifting gears, this system worked because I was strategic in how I organised the completing of these tasks.

For instances, I’m a morning person so my mornings were always spent working on high priority projects or projects that required a greater amount of cognitive or creative clarity such as novel writing, reading and analysing journal articles, or drafting/revising assignments. My energy is much lower in the afternoons, so I usually spent this time working on lighter tasks such as marketing, administration or research.

In between these tasks, I would frequently check my emails, ebook sales (published under a pen name), tend to domestic tasks (laundry/baking/candlestick making) or run personal errands.

For years, this flittering between tasks worked for me. I enjoyed the variety that came with each day and the satisfaction of daily, steady progress. This system suited me and my temperament and I had no problems winding down and switching off at the end of the day.

Then something changed. With no warning at all, the system that I had used to organise my life stopped working. Shifting between 3-5 tasks every day no longer felt invigorating or satisfying. Instead, I felt scatterbrained and overwhelmed. What made matters worse was that I could no longer switch off. I was waking up at 12am to the sound of my inner taskmaster reading out my to-do list. I had worked hard to train my brain to focus intensely on one task for a short period of time before switching to another task and now my brain didn’t know how to switch off.

The system that worked seamlessly for years was defunct. I needed to find a new system!

I first heard of ‘batching’ a couple of years ago, but I never gave it much thought. After all, I already had a system.

If you haven’t heard of this time managing technique, here’s the low down:
Batching is when you organise your day, week or month to the completing of one task or the completing of similar tasks. For example, my blog posts are written in real time. I spend a few hours every Thursday writing and revising a blog that is then posted on Friday. Rather than writing one blog every week, I could batch this task by dedicating one whole day to writing and editing enough blogs for a whole month.

This intense focus allows you to stay in the one headspace for an entire day/week/month rather than flittering between multiple tasks that require different levels of skill or concentration.

When it comes to batching, you choose the time frame and the task. You may want to dedicate a whole month to the completing of a major project, or you may dedicate a whole day to writing. Some tasks don’t require a whole day but you still want to stay in a similar headframe. If that’s the case, you could group similar tasks together such as domestic chores: houseworks/errands/bills or marketing: content creation/social media posts/ads/copywriting.

At the top of this post I mentioned how I used to constantly check my emails. While ‘batching’ a task like emails isn’t feasible for me, I have decided to dedicate one hour every day to this task. I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of will power to do this. Checking my emailing became something I did whenever I needed a mini-break from whatever task I was working on. Email is disguised procrastination. It seems like you’re being ‘productive’, but usually you’re just wasting time. Don’t get me wrong, mini-breaks are good! Just don’t spend your mini-break in front of a screen checking email or social media. If you’re taking a mini-break, actually have a break. Stand up, move around or stare out the window.

How about you? Do you use the batching method or a different technique to get your tasks done?