Last time I asked whether you are making the best use of your time? And whether you are feeling in control of your business activities and plans?
Over this 3 part series, we are looking at this very subject. We will also be giving away two really useful time management tool downloads at the end of the series, so stick with us for that!
We are going to look at: Planning, Systems and Behaviours
You can see #part 1 here.
This time, let us focus on being more systemised in your approach to your business.
Systemising your business can sound such a grand concept can’t it? We may think of elaborate IT systems to control the various business processes we carry out, but it starts with a simple look at what you are doing on a repetitive basis.
If we are repeating certain business activities then we can:
a) look to make them more consistent;
b) streamline them and make them more efficient;
c) build templates, checklists (and finally tools) to make them more efficient.
First you need to do the analysis to look at how you can make these repetitive activities consistent. What are the steps that need to be carried out all the time?
To streamline them, look at what needs keeping in the standard process, what needs adding and what needs removing. Then look at whether you can do each of these parts more efficiently and speedily.
Templates can be things like sales proposals, meeting agendas, other standard documents, eMarketing templates and emails. Don’t reinvent the wheel continuously, take time out to create the templates that you can use over and over again. This does not only save time, it ensures quality and that you don’t miss things. And before you say anything, I know this takes extra time initially to set these up, but this will save you so much time in the long term. With time management we all need to think longer term rather than short term.
For repetitive tasks, checklists can be a good starting point. One of my mentors Rob Moore (who runs a multi-million business), believes in one page checklists. High level checklists and then lower level to cover the specifics in detail. I’ve embraced this in my business with checklists for running events, client sessions, administration, marketing campaigns etc. This is again a simple activity you can start to build for your business. Start with the most critical high priority area and then build checklists as you go along.
You may finally want to build the handling of certain repetitive tasks into tools. Tools like Trello, Evernote, Hootsuite, Google Drive, Toggl etc. Research, talk to people and try things out (many are free or low cost). But before you get into the use of tools, start with the a), b), c) we have talked about in this blog.
In the next article in this series we look at behaviours and habits.
As promised, you can get two really useful tools to support your organisation. The first is a 90 day planning tool in Excel. The second is a day planner which you can use to structure your meetings and tasks for the day. There is also a place to keep a permanent reminder of your Purpose, Vision, Values and 90 day goals. And a place to record you 5 positive things for the day and keep working on optimising your filtering!