Simplify Your Workday AND Prepare for Expanding Your Team

PRODUCTIVITY TIP: Prepare to outsource by tracking common tasks.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP: Prepare to outsource by tracking common tasks.It seems like a simple solution to hire help if you are feeling overwhelmed, but it’s often not that simple.

It’s easier said than done to expand your team. You know the end result of taking tasks of your plate is a great reward, but the though of getting help can actually ADD to your stress level.

A lot of times people start worrying about where they will find the right help, how much it costs or if the person you hire do quality work. This may keep you in a cycle of feeling like it’s easier to just do it yourself. (Been there, done that!)

So here’s my AH-HA, which is helping me, with very little effort on my part.

The first step in hiring someone isn’t finding the right person, it starts with organization on your end.

And you can do this without adding a lot of time, money or energy to your schedule.

As you do your daily work, keep track of the steps involved. Use Trello.com or Excel to create your list of the steps. Then you can find the right person to take these off your plate PLUS you’ll have a checklist to track their progress.

STEP 1: Identify a common task to take off your plate

You won’t be able to outsource EVERYTHING, so start with ONE PART, and break it down into byte sized steps. Once you have these identified, you’ll be able to know which ones you need to do yourself, and which ones you can AUTOMATE, DELEGATE or DELETE.

  • Routine tasks
    • Contracts, billing, paperwork, scheduling & setup with your program
    • DELEGATE to someone to do the task
    • AUTOMATE with a business system
  • Interactions
    • Working directly with the client to solve their problem
    • Most likely this is interacting with you directly
    •  DO IT YOURSELF
  • Outdated methods
    • Is the task still a good return on investment?
    • DELETE

Pick ONE small part of this to take off your plate,
like delegating routine tasks.

  • Simplify your strategy
    • Most likely, you don’t need every social network
    • DELETE
  • Strategy of what to post regularly
    • DELEGATE – Get documentation from your online strategist (like me) OR
    • DO IT YOURSELF – Make a note of the types of topics that you post about
  • Scheduling updates
    • Pre-scheduling NON-PERSONAL posts on your social networks
    • DELEGATE to someone to implement your strategy
    • AUTOMATE with business systems such as Buffer
  • Personal interactions
    • You CAN’T outsource personal interactions, just like you can’t send someone else to a networking event
    • This includes responding to messages or comments from people you know
    • Your time will be freed up to do this if you get help on the other areas
    • DO IT YOURSELF

Pick ONE small part of this to take off your plate,
like scheduling social networking updates.

STEP 2: Document the steps involved

Keep track of the steps involved as you work with your next few clients.

  • The steps involved in common tasks, such as setting up new clients
  • What common documents, training or resources you use
  • Wording for standard emails and frequently asked questions

Start a list in Trello and just list out common tasks. For example, as you add them to your own TO-DO list, also add it to a “CLIENT CHECKLIST”. This takes seconds, but will give you a list of what your “standard procedure” is.

Create a new Excel document and list out columns such as:

  • Date (order it should be done in)
  • Task
  • Details
  • Assigned to (yourself or new team member)
  • Resources needed

For example: use this for 3-4 of your new clients (if you have different types of clients, use a tab for each type). If you don’t do it after each step, don’t worry — add as you remember the task, add it to your Excel file. Then sort by the date field to list things in order. These can become actual due dates for your next new client.

STEP 3: Use your list for routine tasks

Your new list has the immediate benefit of clearing out your head. Routine tasks still take brain power. It will decrease your overwhelm now AND set you up for success when you build your team.

The next time you do this task, even though you know the steps, use your checklist. You’ll do it faster, without wasting any brain space to make sure you don’t forget anything. Now you have a simple business system.

STEP 4: Use your list as a job description

Your list of tasks to outsource is a job description, which makes it easier to find a qualified person. You can outsource the hiring of a Virtual Assistant to a company like Assistant Match, and this list will greatly simplify the process of expanding your team.

It’s also a checklist for your new team member to use, which makes it easier to track the work they do for you with a repeatable business system.

STEP 5: Keep building your business

Tracking your tasks is one of the most productive things you can do in your business. In the examples above, I made notes about breaking each tasking into:

  1. Do it yourself
  2. Automate
  3. Delegate
  4. Delete

Making sure your workflow is properly broken up into these 4 areas is essential for being able to maximize your time, money & energy.

In later phases, you’ll be able to look at this list and re-evaluate your business strategy to streamline your workflow (increasing your profits)…but it all starts with these simple lists.

If you need help with this, let me know!

PS - I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by reading blog posts full of ideas, tactics and tools. Be honest...

  • How frustrated will you be trying to implement this on your own?
  • How much time will you waste if it's not your next best step?
  • Did you just take the time to read this but you won't make any changes?
  • Or are you ready to take a small next step to build your brand?
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To YOUR success,

Linda
 
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Virtuallinda (Linda Schenk)

I work with service-based entrepreneurs to attract more ideal leads, 24/7. My practical and flexible approach will help you to “Simplify. Build. Profit. Repeat.” I offer a custom blend of 23+ years of expertise in marketing, websites, brand identity, strategy, tech solutions and more. My skills link together like LEGO Bricks to create a custom fit for you.

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