We all have our routines, processes, and small activities we perform during our day. Believe-it-or-not, these activities can add up to a lot of time.
For example, every time you tweet a link to a page on your site, you obviously need to spend a few precious minutes creating that tweet. Every time you answer an email, you spend even more time thinking about the response, typing it, then sending it. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is probably more time spent than you think.
However, you can save time on these common, albeit important, tasks by creating templates.
Step One: Identify the Task
Think about all the tasks you perform each day or week. Do you send invoices weekly? Do you post a lot of information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook? Do you answer tons of emails or send numerous communications to your clients? What about blog posts and article writing?
You may not think that each individual task consumes much time, but if you perform 15 tasks and each one takes more than 4 minutes, that’s an entire hour of time. Just think what you could do with that extra hour!
Step Two: Do a Little Digging Into The Past
Now take a look at your past documents. For example, if you are working on a template for your blog posts, take a look at your past dozen or so posts. Do they have a similar format or layout? It’s very possible that most of your blog posts have an introductory paragraph, a transition, and then five or so bullet points followed by a conclusion and a call to action.
You can use this information to create a template. If you find that you have several different types of common blog posts you can make templates for each type. Then, when it’s time to write, you can use the appropriate template and basically just fill in the blanks. You can also easily outsource this blogging task to an assistant once you have a template.
Step Three: Creating the Actual Template
The next step is to sit down and create the template you’ll be using. The goal here is to make filling in the blanks as easy, and fast, as possible. For example, if you’re writing tweets, you might create five to ten different types of tweets with a few blanks. Kind of like a “formula.”
Here’s an example: “___ Reasons to _____. LINK Discover the power of ______.” The same “formula” applies when writing an article or blog post. Create the template, then you can simply fill in the blanks to represent that blog post.
Of course it’s important to pay attention to how these systems and templates work for you. You may need to make tweaks to the templates to make them more effective. But the bottom line is: a few simple templates can give you back precious time during your day. Time that you can spend prospecting for new clients or creating new products.