If you haven’t yet figured out how to clone yourself, you need systems. (Click to Tweet!)
And if you have figured out how to clone yourself, I’m going to need you to contact me immediately. Name your price!
In all seriousness, even if you had a clone, your clone self would eventually need a clone and that clone would need a clone and… you’ll still need systems.
Systems mechanize routine tasks, streamline repetitive tasks, and eliminate the feeling that you’re doing something for the 1000th time. Once of the most tangible benefits of systems is they allow you to move more from the To Do pile into the DONE pile. Systems make the process run more smoothly and give you something to track. They also take the guesswork out of multi-step procedures, allowing you to bring on targeted support (karma yogis, admin support, a virtual assistant or team). This facilitates a better work experience for whomever you hire as support and frees time for you.
Systems are how you clone yourself. (I just saved you a few million dollars without asking for a single thing in return. If that’s not a reason to trust me, I don’t know what is.)
Feel like you’re writing the same email over and over again? You probably are! Create a “canned email” instead –and Boom! System. Precious minutes saved every day. (Click to Tweet!)
Answering the same questions about your teacher training / series class / private classes? Create an information sheet and send it out to everyone who is interested. Boom! System. Time saved.
Re-creating your fliers from scratch for every single workshop / private class / retreat? Create a template for each flier then change out the relevant dates + deets each time. Boom! System.
Ready to get cloning? Good, because we’re doing this now!
(1) Make a massive To Do list (or ya know, just pull out your current To Do list!)
Include all your nagging To Dos for your business plus the daily upkeep tasks like answering emails, returning calls, teaching classes and creating content Don’t forget to add long-term to dos for projects that you need to get started and those marketing tasks that you’re always meaning to get around to. Remember to add all your daily To-Do’s (posting on your social media accounts, writing blog posts, and working on your newsletter).
(2) Divide a piece of paper (it may need to be a XXL piece of paper) into 6 sections by drawing 2 large horizontal lines and one large vertical line.
Now you have six boxes on your page. Label the first box MANY TIMES DAILY, label the second box DAILY, and the following 4 boxes get the labels, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, QUARTERLY and ANNUALLY//OCCASIONALLY.
(3) Take the tasks from your to do list and categorize them in these boxes.
As you start to fill in the boxes, many other to dos for the weeks and months ahead will pop into your head, categorize those too!
Below, I’ve provided some examples below of tasks that fall into each of these categories, but take your time to really think about what you’re doing in your business day to day, month to month, quarter to quarter.
MANY TIMES DAILY:
Responding to clients (phone or emails)
Social Media Posts
Opening/closing the studio
Cleaning the studio floor
Driving to your private client’s home
Returning calls + responding to potential-client emails / inquiries
Weekly blog post
Going to the bank
Bookkeeping + invoicing clients
Workshop or special offering
List building offer – challenge, interview series, guest blogging
revise teacher training curriculum
promote and deliver workshops / retreats / series classes
Business + Marketing plan
Bookings + Promotion
(4) Write down your big vision goals and the tasks that will move you closer to those goals. Divide these up into the six boxes. Some of these tasks may already overlap. For example, if you want to establish yourself as an expert in the field, you need to blog about the topic. So blogging should be on your daily or weekly task list and you should be sending out a weekly newsletter letting everyone know about your new posts.
(5) Identify the tasks that repeat frequently. Nearly everything that you CAN systematize in your daily column, you should.
(6) Document the process you go through to complete each of these repetitive tasks. For example, a blog post requires that you come up with a topic, research supplementary support, write the post, edit, format the post, add links and a photo, check for SEO, publish and distribute via social media and email. Create this list in chronological order and be sure to include appropriate time frames for each task. For example, start research 3 days before publishing, blog post written 1 day before publishing, Email and Social media posts go out within 1 hour of publishing.
(7) Identify the parts of the process that require your involvement and the parts that could easily be done by someone else. Unless you have a sweet copywriter who understands your personality well enough to do a Freaky Friday body/mind switch with you in order to write your posts, you’ll probably have to continue to write the actual blog post. The editing, formatting and social media posting and email could easily and affordably be outsourced to a virtual assistant (VA).
(8) Asses the parts of the process that require your involvement and look for ways that you could make those parts more efficient. Continuing with the example of the blog post: keeping a running list of blog topics so that you’re never wasting time thinking of what to write about can streamline the process and it also paves the way for hiring that sweet copywriter, should you ever decide to go that route.
(9) Do a trial run. Now that you’ve got the process down and you’re outsourcing the repetitive tasks to a VA, give it a whirl. As contradictory as it sound, as conciouspreneurs we do much of our work unconsciously. It’s like muscle memory, but for tasks. Even though you’ve written down the process you go through to accomplish publishing a blog post, there are surely bits and pieces that were left off the list, because you do them without thinking, but your assistant probably won’t. The first time you publish a blog post, launch a new service or schedule social media content with a new VA, you’re going to find some wrinkles that must be ironed.
(10) Edit and Implement Like any good process, we continually have to be on the look out for ways to streamline and for missing parts and pieces. Your trial run will quickly reveal what’s missing. I encourage you to fill in the blanks while you’re going through the trial run, rather than waiting until afterwards.
Now, enjoy the fruits of your labor–an extra 30 minutes to an hour several times a week! What will you do with all that time?
Create a few more systems, I hope!
Clearly you can’t create a system for teaching your yoga classes or meeting with clients, but you CAN be more efficient in most billing, admin and support tasks. If you want to know how, stay tuned for next week’s post.