When you are working for yourself, everything falls on your shoulders. You must get the most out of your time and to make sure you don’t miss anything. To not miss important details you will need to have automation and a system in place.
Systems not only save you time and brainpower but they make growing your business easier. The more you can automate the more time you’ll have to market and scale your business.
Here are 5 shortcuts you can quickly setup to automate and make life easier.
5 Productivity Shortcuts
Thanks to technology it is easier than ever to automate and save time. Working smarter rather than harder means more time for other parts of your business and more time for yourself. Having these shortcuts readily available not only makes it faster for you to work but also faster for anyone who you hire later.
Prewritten email responses
Nearly everyone has a prewritten response for when they are going to be out of the office or on vacation. But why not take the time to prewrite other responses for emails you frequently get. Keep track of this in your online calendar.
For example, as a blogger, I regularly get emails about guest posts, so I’ve come up with a prewritten response about where they can find my guest posting policy.
Other emails you can prewrite? Pitches and follow up emails. You should always customize each pitch. However, it’s much easier to customize when you have something to work with rather than having to write a pitch while staring at a blank screen.
Follow up emails also don’t typically require quite as much customization, so they are easy to have prewritten. You may even have a few different versions of follow-up emails ready to go.
You can quickly set up these prewritten emails using your email service provider.
Prewritten email signatures
Chances are you have more than one email, and you have different emails for a reason. This means you should have different email signatures.
By having your email signatures pre-set you save time and prevent errors from being sent. If you have to type your email signature each time you might mistype something. And don’t we all love our names auto-corrected?
You can again use your email service provider to set up different email signatures for different email addresses.
You can set up different keyboard shortcuts if there are, for example, symbols you use regularly. Additionally, you could also set up text shortcuts.
If you have a name or business name that is on the longer side you could have a shortcut. Set it up so that when you type the initials, it will enter the full name.
You can set up shortcuts on a Mac by accessing the system preferences >keyboard and then use the Text and Shortcuts tabs.
Setting up shortcuts on a PC may vary by system, but Google is always your friend for this action.
Schedule Your Work in Batches
Setting up certain days for particular works, means you don’t have to think as much about what you need to be doing. Your processes will become automatic.
This is my batch schedule:
1. Mondays focus on reaching out to potential clients.
2. Thursdays follow up on leads.
3. Wednesdays focus on social media.
4. Tuesdays writing.
Batching your work makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time and get more done because you aren’t constantly having to switch gears. Science has proven that every time you change to a new task there is a “retooling” process that has to take place. It also takes a lot more time than you think.
Create Your Style Guide – for your website
If you run a website as part of your business, part of growing your business will be to outsource some of the tasks you may be handling now.
To ensure a smooth transition and uniform look, you should put together a style guide. The style guide should include a listing of the fonts, colors, and any tone or grammar specifications you have for your website.
Then make sure you have the style guide easily accessible to other team members.
Other Systems to Consider
Once you have those shortcuts in place, if you aren’t already you might want to consider using tools like Asana or Trello to manage projects. These tools allow you to add other members to your team and repeat project systems you’ve found have worked well in the past.
Taking just a little time to set up some systems and shortcuts can save you hours and lots of frustration down the road.