In my conversations with other entrepreneurs over the course of the last thirty years, one frustration seems common to most and we all tend to wrestle with it as badly ten years into the entrepreneurial journey as we did when we began. Can you guess what it is?
Figuring out how to simple get it ALL done. For most, it is an extreme juggling act that takes some planning to do well at. But, we are gonna help you with that right now, with a single concept that’ll change your life, if you will apply it.
Systemize as much as you can.
But, wait a minute….is systemize even a word? I don’t think so because my spellcheck systems don’t recognize it, but we are making it a word today!
(And I’m going to explain how to do it.)
Simply put, you want to take as much of all your daily activities as you can and break them down into steps, creating a system that can be followed via flow chart, bullet lists, etc… Until the time when you know it so well you can throw it away.
You know what? THAT is what makes them so powerful. They train your brain to store less and start to rely on the chart for the information so you are not wasting time or energy thinking through the same things, the same list of tasks, time and time again so you don’t miss anything.
What a waste of YOU!
So HOW do you systemize your daily tasks?
First you want to write down, in categories, what you do each day in your work. For example, if you sell a product your days might include daily categories for customer care, preparing for upcoming sales events, writing or tweaking sales copy, social media and connecting with your fans, and so forth.
With all tasks documented you can begin separating them into categories. Breakdown exactly what it is you actually DO until it is in step-by-step format. If you can’t break it down that far, you need to create subcategories until you get a task that can be broken down into a checklist of guided steps.
Would a checklist help?
Well, let’s look at an example. Let’s say you are doing a system for managing your Facebook activities for business. Your step-by-step list might read:
- Check messages
- Check notifications and respond to comments only
- Check group activities for comments that need replies
- Timed check of social media activities (Word of warning! Make sure you set yourself a timer to look through your social feeds, checking for good shares for your page, gathering ideas, touching base with people, leaving some responses along the way etc. This is an area that can be a HUGE time suck if you don’t manage it. It’s just oh-so-tempting to “like” and comment on every little thing that invokes an emotional response)
- Prepare your posts for the day
- Schedule your posts (Or better yet, plan and schedule your week’s worth of content in advance to save yourself some hassle)
- Check posts in any groups that are giving you value and participate when it is right. (Another tricky time-sucker! Best to limit group activities to those you manage and/or give you some real value for your business. Purely enjoying them for enjoyments sake doesn’t count.).
- List Item
- Review notifications for comments or activities needing attention before moving onto the next category of tasks.
How do I do it?
Now we have wrangled the task of doing daily Facebook activities for your business and created a nice, neat little checklist that will become as natural to you as the air you breathe, as you use it.
My tip for you – use what works best for you when it comes to how you prefer to see that steps listed. Personally, I am fond of flow charts but others might prefer a numbered list while others may choose to create index cards for each step, hole punch them, slap them on a ring and flip thru their rings daily. You can use your smart phone, an index card “flip book”, applications like Trello (shown below) or Asana… the possibilities are endless. The point is to do what works for YOU, then commit to doing it, without exception.
What you will find is that, as time goes on, you won’t refer to that visual cue so much anymore. The day will come when you rock your list in winning fashion, and then realize you didn’t even refer to it! Bingo…that is what it is all about; Creating natural, effective habits.
Congratulations….without too much effort you have successfully trained your mind to do some tasks on autopilot. That means you work faster, and can get more accomplished…. with less stress! How amazing is that?
Compare that to what I am betting you experience with some regularity…. Staring your day in the face, knowing you have a million things to do but not knowing what to do and where to start.
Try it. Just sit down at the start of your day, think it through very thoroughly, record all of your steps… and then MOVE ON to thinking about things that will improve your bottom line. Free up that precious brain space for more of what you do best, running your business.
Need help creating an actionable task list for your business? Reach out, it’s what we do!
Written by Carol Waters – Sassy Lasses Word Herder Extraordinaire!