“It’s easier to just do it myself”
How often have you said those words? Explaining the required steps to complete a task can seem more cumbersome than just handling it — especially when you include a quality-check, fix any errors and provide feedback. And (even if we don’t like to admit it), many of us like handling those easy tasks because they produce a sense of accomplishment — even if they’re not the pressing items we should be focused on.
The ugly truth: Doing everything yourself will ensure that your business won’t scale to the next level.
How did I do that again?
The words above are another common refrain for many of us. When a task is simple, you are certain you’ll remember how to do it the next time. If something is an absolute bear to figure out, you figure there’s no way you’ll ever forget. But our brains are deluged with input and can actually become overloaded, making seemingly basic tasks not just complicated, but frustrating and overwhelming.
So what to do? Easy: Write it down. Whether it’s a task checklist or a quick scribble to capture an inspiration for a future blog topic, experts agree that writing it down helps you to capture a fleeting thought before it gets swept away in the chaos of the day. Use whatever medium moves you — an app, a whiteboard, or pen and paper … the key (as Nike says) is just do it.
Clear out brain space
In a blog post about processes and structures for maintaining cadence, I wrote,
“Systematic, repeatable processes streamline your marketing efforts by reducing the hurdles associated with content publication. These processes act as enablers to help you maintain marketing momentum.”
The same principle applies for routine repetitive tasks. Detailed instructions enable your brain to rest while you simply follow the documented steps. Or (better yet!), with documented processes, you can delegate repeatable tasks to others, gaining efficiency while freeing yourself up for more strategic activities.
Make room for new learning and creative thinking by documenting processes for tasks that you perform repeatedly. While an up-front time investment is required, think of all the time you’ll save going forward — eliminating re-work due to missed steps and researching items you’ve forgotten how to do — not to mention the inevitable distractions along the way.
The net result will be saved time and mental energy down the road. You’ll be confident in the knowledge that you have all the bases covered and your services will be delivered consistently and up to par.
Loosen the reigns to scale your business
Feeling uncomfortable about letting go of control? Start with routine tasks like onboarding new clients, processing inventory or handling invoicing. Once you’re comfortable loosening the reigns, consider which other routine activities might be systemized.
My process documents include a list of strategies for leveraging content, the steps to remove spam visits from website analytics and the process for re-mailing an email newsletter. These documents are my quality control department; with them, I can be sure that every detail is attended to in the way I have designed — whether I do the work or defer to others. And for tasks not done on a daily basis, they save time while providing a tool to help recall steps, sequence, and details.
Ready to stop re-inventing the wheel? Get started today or contact us for help.