Working efficiently will eternally be one of my top priorities.
If I can continually hone and improve these abilities it allows me to create more with less energy — which in turn can be redirected into spending more time with my family, better attending to my physical and mental well being, exploring new business ideas and living a fuller life.
One of my latest exercises as it pertains to working more efficiently is to document anything I have to do more than once and add it to a “playbook”.
This master playbook should live somewhere where it can evolve and be updated - the goal here is to get things out of my head and into a space where they can be documented and ultimately delegated.
To get a bit more tactical, here’s a sample SOP, or standard operating procedure, that I recently created for a manager or stakeholder (i.e. myself) to approve and send out a marketing email:
Scheduling an Email to Send
Purpose: Scheduling an email should be done only by a manager or with approval.
Hours: < 5 mins, weekly
1) Log into Mailchimp and click on campaigns.
2) Click into the campaign you want to schedule for sending.
3) Click “Send a Test Email” and send an email to yourself. Review it 1 final time checking for correct dates/times, spelling errors, or information that may have changed.
4) If all is well, click “Schedule” on the top right. Select your date and time to send and click “Schedule Campaign”. As a general rule, I like to “Schedule Campaigns” vs. “Send Now” to allow for any last minute changes or finds - even it it is only 1 hour in the future.
Common Hang Ups:
- Scheduling an email is straightforward but should be done carefully to avoid messaging large amounts of customers with incorrect/wrong information.
And here is an SOP I created for creating new SOPs for myself and other team members:
Creating a new SOP
Purpose: As a general rule, if you have to do something more than once, we should create and document an SOP for others to follow. Please use the following template and guidelines when creating one.
Hours: < 20 mins, as needed
Platforms: Loom, Google Docs
Video: Log into Loom and record a video - link it here.
1) Step by step document your processes. It helps to record a Loom video and reference that when documenting the SOP
2) Loom filenames should be “[SOP] The Full SOP Header”. In the description, please include the name of the SOP, the purpose, and a link to this part of the SOP.
Common Hang Ups:
- If there are any potential mistakes someone can make, they should be documented here.
One of my plans is to extend this concept and create a playbook for my personal life and start to document some of the monotonous tasks and outsource them.
A challenge for you:
- Take a few minutes and write a list of 20 things in your business or personal life that you can create SOPs for.
- Now, select 1 or 2 from your list and use the above template and creating your SOPs.
- Share them with me if you would like and I can provide feedback.