One Single Thing That Will Help You Work Smarter

If you’re into saving time by reducing  the amount of time you spend on repetitive tasks so that you can spend more time in your zone of genius, templates are for you!
 
You can use templates for almost anything, but they are especially useful to help you consistently:
 

  1. Manage clients like a pro – keep a record of essential client information, track progress on individual projects or welcome clients without forgetting important intake questions and instructions.
  2.  

  3. Keep your team in the loop – document your workflows only once, document team meetings in a more useful way or manage projects with all the information your teams needs to rock the delivery.
  4.  

  5. Stay on top of online content – create an easy-to-follow structure for your blog posts or newsletter, document the content you create (blog, guest posts, interviews, etc.) for quick reference or keep track of your content calendar month after month.

 
 
 

How to create a template

 
The process can vary slightly based on what you are templating, but here are the basic principles:
 

1. Identify something you do repeatedly

Here are a few examples of day-to-day business activities you can easily turn into a template:
 

  • Writing blog posts
  • Uploading and formatting posts
  • Podcasting
  • Guest posting (or being featured on any media for that matter)
  • Collecting testimonials/case studies
  • Having guest contributors on your website
  • Launching an offering
  • Handling client intake
  • Managing clients
  • Managing participants of a group program

 
 
 

2. Lay out what steps or information you require to do it in a single master document

It’s important to recognize that repetitive activities, like the ones listed above, are not single items on our to-do lists – they are actually a series of steps.
 
Let’s take collecting a testimonial, for example.  

We often refer to it as a single line item on our to-do list (or, even worse, merely a mental note in our head): “Get a testimonial from Suzie.”
 
However, if you take a closer look at what actually needs to happen to get a testimonial from Suzie, you might realize that:
 

  • When you first discuss with Suzie how your collaboration will be structured, you mention to her that you’ll ask her to fill out a feedback form at the end of the project
  • When that time comes, you send Suzie the feedback form
  • Based on her answers, you create a testimonial
  • Which you send for Suzie’s approval together with a request for permission to use her headshot, website, and name
  • Once you got Suzie’s approval, you save the testimonial in the designated place.

 
Even though you now have 5 items instead of a single  item on your to-do list, collecting a testimonial is way more manageable.  Plus, you don’t need to keep mental notes of where you are with the process of  collecting testimonials for each client or get distracted by suddenly remembering that you never followed up with a former client on your testimonial request.
 
So, seeing this task as a series of actions rather than a single to do will allow you to not only become more efficient, but also increase your chances of getting testimonials from your clients.
 
 
 

3. Delegate steps to people on your team (where/if applicable)

To save even more time, you can delegate some steps of the process to your assistant.
 
That’s when you’ll appreciate breaking the process down into steps even more.
 
Whereas you would not be able to immediately delegate the task of getting a testimonial from a client to someone not familiar with your process, you could definitely have someone take care of select items:
 

  • Me: When setting expectations, mention to the client that they’ll be asked to fill out a feedback form at the end of the collaboration
  • Assistant: Send the client the feedback form
  • Me: Based on the client’s answers create a testimonial
  • Assistant: Send it to the client for approval + request permission to use the client’s headshot, website, and name
  • Assistant: Approval NOT received — follow up with the client
  • Me: Approval received — save testimonial in the designated place

 
Maybe, after a while, you can have your assistant take care of even more stuff:
 

  • Me: When setting expectations, mention to the client that they’ll be asked to fill out a feedback form at the end of the collaboration
  • Assistant: Send the client the feedback form
  • Assistant: Based on the client’s answers create a testimonial
  • Me: Approve created testimonial
  • Assistant: Send it to the client for approval + request permission to use the client’s headshot, website, and name
  • Assistant: Approval NOT received — follow up with the client
  • Assistant: Approval received — save testimonial in the designated place

 
I invite you to identify the items that someone else could take care of for you even if you are not in a position to delegate those tasks just yet.
 
Being clear on the kinds of tasks you could delegate will help you define the qualities and skills that your future assistant needs to possess.  It will also make the training period shorter and less stressful for both of you.
 
 
 

4. Copy the master document into a new file every time you start the task over

 
Now, every time you need to perform a repetitive activity, just duplicate the template and appropriately rename it, say:
 

  • Requesting testimonial + name of the client
  • Onboarding + name of the offer + name of the client
  • Guest post + name of the blog

 
I’m warning you.  You’re going to get addicted to creating templates!
 
 
 

Want some inspiration?

Take the templates I use in my own business [right here] and tweak them to your needs.
 
Enter your email address and I’ll send you the link to my Google Drive folder SystemsRock Templates with templates like:
 

  1. Short-Term Client Onboarding
  2. Long-Term Client Onboarding
  3. Getting Written Testimonials
  4. Guest Posting
  5. Uploading & Formatting Blog Posts
  6. Team Meetings Agenda
  7. Website Maintenance
  8. Interview Checklist & Schedule
  9. Template: Guest Post Tracking Spreadsheet
  10. Template: Web Presence Spreadsheet

 
Breaking down your processes into steps isn’t sexy, but it’s smart, and can save you massive amounts of time.
 
Having better systems in place will help you build something bigger than yourself and allow you to run your business rather than having your business run you.
 
 
Back to You:

What specific process would you love to be able to manage with more ease?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

 
 

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Natasha Vorompiova

Founder at Systems Rock
Natasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, Certified Quiet Power Strategy Coach, and creator of Systematic Success 2.0.Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom, but find themselves stuck and buried in day-today operations.Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success.
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1 Comment

  1. Asif

    I found this information very useful, I will be visiting Natasha’s website to learn more.

    Reply

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