If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.
She’s got systems in place.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.
No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:
How often do you answer emails from potential clients? What about responding to questions from your newsletter? How about mailing your collaboration partners about an upcoming launch?
These tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will save you time, the true beauty is that once created, you can easily outsource things like email and marketing. Just teach your Virtual Assistant how to use your templates properly, and you’ll be available to take care of the tasks in your business that only you can do.
When you perform the same tasks repeatedly, it’s easy to miss an essential step. You might think all of the invoices or invitations were sent out, only to find out later that your VA skipped a few essential steps.
But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.
You can easily create checklists for all your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see which tasks are complete and which are still outstanding.
Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.
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