Finding Efficiencies - Working Smarter not Harder
As a busy Mom of 3 finding efficiencies is super important to me. I personally work a full-time "job" and run a direct sales business and team so maximizing my time is top of my priority list. I'm going to share with you 3 ways I save time in my business so I can accomplish more and work less.
You may have heard this term before if you've been around any time management conversations but have you implemented it? To preface this I will say that you have to find your own rhythm and flow and there is no hard and fast rule but I will share what I do and what works for me.
Generally, I have about 45 minutes to an hour each day to work on my business. If I don't take the time to actually plan out and prioritize I will spend the first 10-15 minutes of that block figuring out what I'm going to do and then settling in and before I know it my time is up. This is why prioritizing and planning are so key when you only have limited time to work your business. Here is my general schedule when it comes to working my business: Monday: Schedule all Facebook parties for the next 4 weeks in Vizzlie (you can use any scheduling app you like or native Facebook). Schedule content for all social channels (Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Instagram, Pinterest). If time permits batch newsletters. Tuesday: Training, listen to one masterclass or training pertaining to direct sales and implement any takeaways. Any additional time focused on planning content and training for my team.
Wednesday: Write one blog post for the week
Thursday: Batch all graphics needed pertaining to sharing content on social media and prepare any video content.
Friday: Follow up with customers and fill in gaps for any items not covered on other days.
Saturday: Filler day, use for any other monthly priorities.
Now, there are many days that I deviate from this schedule because life happens and I have 3 kids, but in general, I try to stick to this structure and it gives me freedom. I also allow time for one off tasks like taking a picture of my dinner and posting it to my social media or posting stories on Facebook or Instagram. For me, the one off tasks are absorbed into my day and I don't account for them in the one hour of work I do. Again, this is just what has worked for me and you have to find your own flow.
One thing that has saved me tons of time is batching my work. What I mean by this is doing the same thing over and over instead of having to have multiple tabs open. For example, if I'm working on content to launch the new catalogue items and creating Canva graphics I will create an entire file of graphics instead of doing it as needed. This saves me from having to open up the file each time. I can also duplicate the templates easily and swap out images as needed.
TIP: In Canva have multiple files that have similar images in them. For example, I have one file that has Product Slide posts specific to food, there is actually 29 slides in that one file but I haven't even posted many of them. The next time I go to write a post or blog about a specific product I have already done the work and it is easy to access.
Technology is your friend!! You may not be comfortable with it yet or don't know how to do something but remember that with today's internet most things are very intuitive. Creating shortcuts that you can duplicate is key to efficiency. I am personally an android user so I will show you how to add text shortcuts from a Samsung device. If you use an iPhone check out this article for instructions.
For a Samsung phone here are the general instructions for adding in-text shortcuts. If you have a different model I suggest searching text shortcuts inside of your settings and you should be able to find where it is located. Some examples of shortcuts you can create are:
Thank you messages to customers. Create the basic ones and personalize them after the fact.
Info you send frequently such as a link to your website or current party link.
Instructions for how to order from you or do business with you.
You can also create shortcuts using Gmail. I personally schedule all my follow-up e-mails this way and have a basic template I use for thank you messages which I customize with a couple of points prior to sending. To do this in Gmail you will simply write the template you want to use and then go into the menu and save the template. I personally have a basic thank you follow-up e-mail I send in which I replace a couple of fields such as product names and recipes but the bulk of the work is already done for me.
Remember, running a social media business is a long-term game. Our ultimate goal with social media is to provide a platform to serve our customers so they continue to come back to us. People buy from people they know and trust and building and creating efficient structures like this will help you provide exceptional service to your customers and not feel like you spend 24/7 on running your business.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments of this post, what is something you've implemented in your own business that saves you time?