As business owners we all have a lot going on but you can choose to do tasks sporadically or organize those tasks and maximize your time. We all have the same 24 hours and anytime you see a famous entrepreneur and wonder “How does she do it?”, the answer is probably systems. I’m going to take you through 3 systems I have in my business that save me 3-5 hours each week.
My Email System
I prioritize learning and for that reason I am subscribed to a lot of email lists. That sounds like a great thing until you realize that your inbox fills up with an insane number of emails in the time it takes to have a coffee break. I don’t like to completely close out my email but I also don’t like to get distracted every single time I see a new and interesting email come in.
And then I discovered Unroll.me
Unroll.me has allowed me to create an actual system for going through all of the great emails I get. Every afternoon, Unroll.me sends me a digest of the emails I got in the form on 1 single email. That allows me to take 30 minutes to go through it all at once at a time that works for me. If you use Google Apps to host your email, check out Unroll.me here.
My Social Media System
Social media can be a huge time-suck for people and it’s easy to get lost in it. That’s why I knew I had to figure out a way to scale back the amount of time I spent on social media while still sharing great content. I had been using Hootsuite to schedule posts but it’s not the easiest way to schedule them so that didn’t stick. I came across Buffer and it has totally changed the way I use social media. It let’s me schedule posts to my Twitter account, Facebook page, Google+ profile and LinkedIn profile with the click of a button. Now, I only spend about 30 minutes each week scheduling my social media posts.
One thing that I love about Buffer is that you can fill it up and let it post for you and it will email you when your Buffer is empty. This means you can pre-load all of your tweets and Facebook page posts for the week in one sitting. They also have extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari so that you can add the page that you are on to your Buffer with 1 click. And it gets even better. You can choose the times that your posts will go out at or use the Buffer integration with FollowerWonk to analyze your accounts to figure out the best times to post.
One of the traps that many people fall into is thinking you have to always be posting new original content that you created. That limits you to only posting to your social media profiles when you have a new blog post or spending way too much time trying to come up with topics. It is far easier and effective to curate great content that your audience will love in addition to your original content. Bearing this in mind, I set up a Feedly account and added all of the websites that my ideal client loves so that I can keep up with their new content. Each week I log into Feedly and add selected posts to Buffer.
Every week I have a block of time in my calendar that prompts me to add content to my Buffer. At that time, I simple log into Feedly and add some content to Buffer and add some of my own content and voila! A week’s worth of posts done in 30 minutes!
My Scheduling System
In order to make sure I get everything done that I want to get done, I use Google Calendar to manage my schedule. I actually make appointments with myself and treat them as appointments with other people. Let me explain. If I know I need to write 3 blog posts this week, I’ll put a 2 hour appointment in my calendar. Now I’m not meeting with anyone but if I schedule it, I know I’ll do it. Also, I’m horrible in the morning so if I don’t have my day planned out the night before, I’ll just be totally lost until about noon. When I start my day, I can see exactly what I need to do and when so I don’t have to waste any time figuring that out.
Google Calendar is collaborative so if you do have a team or an assistant, you can make appointments with each other. It also lets you set up different color-coded calendars so that you can see at a glance what is going on. You might choose one color for client appointments, one for admin work and one for content creation. It’s also cloud-based so you can access it from any device, anywhere in the world. It’s pretty much the best calendar ever and I’d be lost without it.
These are just 3 systems that I have in place in my business and they save me about 3-5 hours per week, every week. That’s 18-20 hours per month and 156-260 hours per year. Systems can save you serious time so I’m sure you can see that they are well worth setting up.
If you’re serious about getting out of overwhelm, you won’t want to miss the exciting free webinar I’ve got for you. It will help you get systems in place in your business and put them on autopilot. To find out more and save your spot visit www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com/webinar
Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business helps wedding professionals market themselves on a budget and create a consistent flow of leads because in business, it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do if no one knows about it.
Check out her free video training designed to help you turn fans into buyers, perfect your website and crank up your cash flow.