Do you have a system? For some of us, this is a no-brainer. If you are like me, you are organised, structured, and have created systems for everything in your life. Either within your business or outside your business.
I know that for me, as a mother of four (or five if you count my wonderful husband!), systems are vital. Without them, my life would be in chaos. There would be no dinner, the children would have no idea where they were supposed to be, no guidelines to follow, and my business would be run haphazardly, with no structure, and I would be in a constant state of uncertainty, stress and overwhelm.
And I have found that this is unfortunately the natural habitat of so many women in business nowadays. They have big plans, big dreams and visions of how they want their business to be, their ideal lifestyle. With everything compartmentalised. The perfect business that fits into it’s scheduled hours. Wonderful clients who only call between the hours of nine and five and never in the evening or early morning. Who are respectful of your life outside your business and wouldn’t dream of putting their needs before yours. Of course this is a very unrealistic view of how a woman in business actually finds her life to be!
So many women I talk to nowadays are jumping from task to task throughout the day. They are primarily reactive. When the phone rings or an email pings on their computer they are onto it straight away, completely abandoning whatever task they were in the process of doing and instead redirecting their attention to this new task. Once that is dealt with of course, they have completely lost their previous train of thought and even have often forgotten they were doing in the first place! There are studies that show it takes between 13 and 21 minutes to refocus after an interruption. So if that happens several times during the day, just imagine how much time is being lost!
We tend to have many regular tasks that we do during the day as businesswomen, mothers or simply as women in general, so there is a huge opportunity to make our life easier and for us to be more effective and efficient with the way we use our time and run our lives. And this is by creating and implementing systems.
Now to some of you this may sound like a lot of work and you simply don’t know where to start. But it is so worthwhile if you can identify where you are wasting time throughout the day, where you are doing the same thing over and over again, but starting from scratch each time, and how beneficial it can be for you to create a system for these things, so that you can simply follow this step-by-step and complete your tasks. You can actually finish what’s on your list each day without the overwhelm and stress.
But where do you begin? Well the first step of course, is to identify these tasks. I’ll give you an example of something I have recently done myself. And this is to create my own Facebook group.
Now, as you may imagine, creating and running a highly engaged, successful, dynamic Facebook group doesn’t just happen on its own. There is a lot of time and effort needed to nurture it, continually provide great content, encourage engagement, and give great value.
So, to be completely honest, to begin with I was a little overwhelmed. It really seemed quite daunting. But then, my organisational principles really kicked in, and I realised that I could make this SO much easier, by systemising.
By creating a basic template to follow that would allow me to run my group easily and effortlessly by planning it all out:.
- When I would post
- What I would post
- How to come up with engaging topics
- The different types of posts
- Creating graphics
- Encouraging interaction
- Choosing a weekly theme
- Mapping out a week’s worth of content at a time
- Doing videos
- Planning Facebook Live events
Now at face value, this all sounds overwhelming doesn’t it! And to begin with, it was.
But, the secret is to break it down into a step-by-step plan.
And this is the principle, the absolute winning principle that you can apply to all aspects of your business. Whether it is managing your Facebook group. Or sending out a regular newsletter. Or creating a Marketing campaign that you can then use over and over again.
So, try this yourself. Create your own systems to allow you to run your own business more effectively and efficiently, and then incorporate the step-by-step principles into creating simple programs and packages to offer to your own clients. And just wait to see how they react! I can guarantee you will capture their interest and attention!
Pauline Delany is The Harmony Life Stylist. She works with freedom-based female entrepreneurs to empower them to reclaim 10 selfish hours a week.