Before we get started, what does productivity mean to you? I've always been curious how other people define productivity. I wanted to learn what processes they follow and which methods of efficiency do they use. For me, productivity is implementing essential processes that are easy-to-follow, straightforward and leave you feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
In this blog post, we will talk about how to improve productivity in your business. We will also talk about the difference between tasks and processes, which tasks are essential, and how to decide which tasks you should delegate, automate, pause, or eliminate. We will also go through how to decide on your plan of action, as well as implementing a standard operating procedure (SOP) in order to help complete your tasks more effectively and improve your productivity overall.
Tasks vs. Processes
As business owners, keeping tabs on everything happening with your projects can be overwhelming. But there is no need to overwork yourself into a burnout when it comes to achieving them. That is why we can rely on the help of simplifying our project into tasks to be completed. A task is a piece of work that needs to be done. Each task can then be further simplified into a step-by-step process in helping you achieve the task. This makes things easier and assists with being more productive in achieving your project.
Which Tasks are Essential?
Deciding which tasks are more important for your project is what will help you get more done in an effective way. What project do you have planned in mind and for when? What are the tasks that you need to complete in order to have it launch successfully? Your project might be a program that you want to launch in the next 3 months for example. Essential tasks that you would implement might be having to produce Instagram and Facebook organic and paid content, giving out a freebie, or sending an automated email sequence to name a few, for example.
To Delegate, Automate, Pause, or Eliminate?
There may be plenty of tasks that you jot down when realising what you need to do until the launch of your project. Though, taking a step back and being selective about which tasks will help you achieve your project without overload is the aim to a successful launch. So how do we do this? We are able to decide how to manage our tasks via our strategy. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.
Your strategy will revolve around four criteria: delegation, automation, pausing, and elimination. Which tasks do you need to delegate? Which ones need to be automated? Which need to be paused for the meanwhile? And which tasks need to be eliminated completely?
Unlike your project goal, your strategy is not fixed, and can be refined along the way. This means that we need to constantly keep our eyes on what is going on if there needs to be any changes.
What is Your Plan of Action?
Writing out your strategy is what will help you become clear and focused in executing your project. I usually plan my projects quarterly by drawing out a timeline. This visualisation technique is a great way in helping you clearly see the tasks that you need to complete within the time frame that you have chosen. Once you have decided the project, its time frame and its tasks, it is now time to write out a process for each task to be followed step-by-step.
These processes are known as SOPs (standard operating procedures).
Write down Your SOPs
Finally, the seal in boosting your productivity is writing down your SOPs for each task. A standard operating procedure is a process that needs to be written out in a way that is easy for someone else to read and understand. This is for the purpose of delegation. The person you might be delegating the task to needs to read and follow each step in a simple manner. Think about an SOP like a recipe to a dish. It is a set of written instructions of the steps that you need to follow to properly complete the task. You can choose whatever tool best suits you to write out your SOPs. I use Notion, though there are other tools you can use like Google sheets or Google docs to name a few.
For my SOPs, I have headings for each column: step number, platform, location, what to do, outcome, and comments. An example of a task would be “how to create a newsletter in Kartra,” or “how to create a blog post in WordPress”. From there, I will write a step-by-step process you need to go through to complete that task. Once this is well documented, I am ready to easily delegate!
Getting clear on what tasks you need to delegate, automate, pause or eliminate for your project will save you a lot of time and energy. Select your most important tasks, plan a strategy, draw your timeline, and write out your SOPs for each task. If you are in need to improve your productivity in your business, I hope this simple guide will help you achieve that for your next projects!
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