Hey you, we’re onto the second video in this fourth Module. Let’s dig in.
The first strategy to help you get more done and accomplish the tasks on your to-do list more easily is to implement systems and processes. Let’s get clear on what is what.
A system is an automated or semi-automated way of completing regular, repeated tasks in your business. For instance, a new client signs up to work with you, they get an automated email reply, and a new task list is created in your project management system. Or, you pay a bill and the transaction automatically gets added to your finance spreadsheet. You probably noticed, the keyword here is ‘automated’.
The keyword when it comes to processes is ‘documented’. A process is a documented, step-by-step way to complete regular, repeated tasks. For instance, the steps to write, format, and schedule a blog post or the steps to start tackling a large renovation process on your house.
Having systems and processes in place can cut down on the time you’re spending on each task. When you know what steps you need to follow and how long each one will take, completing a task becomes much easier because you’ll end up running through the steps like muscle memory.
Most likely, you’re always wearing several hats while keeping a million different plates spinning. So, whether it’s in your work or life, try to get as much as possible organized into a system and written down. That way you’re not having to reinvent the wheel every time you do that task or it gets delegated to someone else.
Let’s start with systems. The key to implementing systems is automation. Automation means setting something up once so it’s done automatically over and over again. It’s set it and forget it. And it’s going to save you time, possibly hours each week.
It’s also very efficient. Automating things like creating invoices eliminates the opportunity to forget or procrastinate. It also ensures your tasks are done accurately and consistently.
Automation is best for tasks that:
Need to happen at an exact time or in relation to something else, like when A happens B needs to happen right away
Mindless tasks that are the same each time, like answering the same common emails
Small but frequent tasks, like a task that only take a few minutes but that you have to do over and over again
Tasks you don’t like to do or aren’t good at. Ain’t no one got time for them!
In the last lesson of this Module I’m going to walk you through the tools and resources you can use to start automating your tasks and to-dos. But for now, I’m going to give you more examples of things to automate.
When a customer buys a product and automatically gets added to your mailing list
Posting on social media
Email communications and management
Archiving emails and documents
Blog post sharing
I could go on and on.
Grocery delivery service
Monthly subscriptions via Amazon
Smart technology that automatically saves your favorite TV show or regulates your heating depending on what time you’re at home
Auto-pay your bills
You pay a bill and the transaction automatically gets added to your finance spreadsheet
A process is a documented, step-by-step way to complete regular, repeated tasks. Processes or workflows are going to save your sanity. You no longer have to remember everything, every step that needs to be done when you’re working on task XYZ because you have it all written down. The more and more you follow an order of operation, the faster and more efficient you become. If you haven’t created processes for the different parts of your work and life, this could be a positive game changer for your productivity.
Here are some examples of tasks that can be turned into a process or workflow.
Create templates for blog post writing, formatting, and scheduling
Create templates for blog post and social media images
Create templates for email responses
Process for client onboarding
Process for working on client projects
Create templates for meal planning
Create templates for email responses
Color code to distinguish between categories in your calendar
Process for tackling a large renovation process on your house
Set aside some time to sit down and list each of your regular tasks that could be turned into processes. Then, write down every single little step required to accomplish that task.
This isn’t something that needs to be done all at once. In fact, take your time with it in the upcoming weeks. Each time a new recurring task comes up, try to create a process for that task right away.
I gave you a lot of ideas for things to turn into a system, to automate, or to create processes for. Now it’s time for you to think about the systems and processes that apply to YOUR work and life. Use the worksheet and start brainstorming. Write down the things you want to systemize, automate, and turn into a workflow. Write out your processes.
In Module 1.3 we talked about outsourcing and delegating. Which things did you write down that you want to delegate? Now, write down on the worksheet the ways you can automate those tasks.