How to Streamline Work Process and Improve Workflow for Entrepreneurs

Let’s face it, busy work and being “always on” is overrated. Sure there are external rewards, you look successful because you’re seen to be doing all the things all of the time, but deep down you know that things are not working the way they should be.

The list of tasks and to-dos is never ending and despite all your hard work and hustle your business isn’t progressing the way you want it to.

We recently got together with Kate Rosenow of Work Well With Kate. She believes you shouldn’t have to choose between being a profitable business owner and living your life on your terms, maximizing things YOU want to do.

In her workshop at The Lola, she showed us that you have to plan for success. Your version of success, not someone else’s.

How to streamline work process and improve workflow

Exercise: Dump It!

It’s time to focus. Want to know which activities you should be focussing on and which ones are not serving you anymore? Grab a cup of coffee and spend 15-20 minutes doing this exercise.

1. Define your goals. What do you value most?

    • Making money? For yourself and/or to provide for others.
    • Having an impact? Through your services or in other parts of your life.
    • Providing great customer service? Does serving others well bring you joy?
    • Operating in your zone of genius? Doing more of the things you enjoy and are good at in your business.
    • Making time for life beyond work? For friends, family, sports, hobbies, travel, books, developing new skills etc…

2. Make a list of all the tasks you do in your business:

  • What are the things you work on in your business?
    • For example:
      • Social media
      • Invoices
      • Onboarding new clients
      • Writing briefs
      • Book keeping
      • Taxes
  • In the past 30 days, what have you spent your time on?
    • For example:
      • Answering emails
      • Writing presentations
      • Creating Marketing materials
      • Answering client question

3. Are your tasks essential? Do your tasks generate revenue?

Ask the question about each item:

  • Is it essential? Do I have to do this? Ask why, and be brutally honest.
  • Is it revenue-generating? Is it directly bringing money in? Is it an efficient way for you to generate revenue?

Scratch off things that don’t meet one of these two criteria.

Streamline work process and improve workflow!

4. Automate or outsource tasks:

From what is left, what can you automate by a tool/app or outsource?

  • Do you love doing it? No? Who else could do it?
  • Are you qualified to do it? Who has the expertise you need?
  • Should you be doing it? Is it the best use of your time, really? What are you trading off to keep doing it? What could you be doing instead that will drive better value in your business?

Create a job description based on the tasks that don’t fit these criteria or find a way to automate them.

 

Worried automations will make things feel sterile?

Ask yourself, If my client or customer is doing this will they be upset? Automating the manual things actual can improve your relationship with your clients by helping you save time and money (charging them less hours) and it gives you time to improve your client services and focus on the things your truly good at.

 

Kate’s top tips to streamline work process and improve workflow
  1. Don’t overcomplicate things. Aim for a simple and lean structure for your business. Don’t create problems where there aren’t any.
  2. Don’t jump on every trend. What’s right for someone else’s goals might not be right for yours. Build around your values and your goals.
  3. 90-day rule. A good rule of thumb is something that has been on your to-do list for 90 days then ditch it or outsource it.
  4. Task block. It takes you 30 mins to switch between tasks that are not related. Group-like tasks to save time and be more productive.

*This isn’t a one-and-done. Save this article and do this exercise every few months to make sure you’re staying on track!

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