I don’t care what the Internet says: There’s no one “right” way to handle time management!
We’ve all got unique time-management personalities, and the tips and tricks that work beautifully for me might frustrate the crap out of you. It’s incredibly personal, and so long as the work gets done on time and up-to-standard, it doesn’t matter how the time was divvied up among the tasks.
This means that your assistant—virtual or otherwise—may have time-management preferences that are wildly different from your own. And that, of course, is fine! But regardless of her style, you can still help her tweak her overall working methods to be more efficient by providing her with the right tools.
As you might’ve guessed from the post title, today we’re focusing on two super-simple, fantastically effective ones: templates and checklists. Incorporating these bad boys into your workflow can help any assistant manage her time more efficiently while working on your tasks. Let’s see how!
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Use customer service templates to streamline your assistant’s workload
Yes, boilerplate/templated language can sometimes feel a little robotic. But the fact is that many, many inquiries that come through your business don’t require personalized replies! Asking your assistant to craft a new email for each appointment request or press query is a waste of her time. (And one that’s likely to frustrate her.)
Work together to cook up some customer service and client support email templates that can be tweaked as needed. You might want to start with crafting language for your most common questions or topics; scheduling appointments, responding to common support questions, processing refunds, or responding guest post requests. Add more as needed.
Create checklists for new products and offerings
Naturally, each new class, client engagement, and product you create will be different, and have a slightly different setup process. It’s still possible to systematize the various steps by writing generalized checklists. These can be especially helpful for creating new products in the shopping cart or adding modules to a members area.
Think about the steps and activities that must take place every single time you build a new offering. Do you always run beta tests, build a sales page, commission graphics, construct a drip campaign, or purchase Facebook ads? Write it all down so your assistant is sure to tackle every key step!
Codifying the tasks that typically accompany a new product’s creation will save time and reduce errors.
Give your assistant web page templates for unified branding
Do you want every single landing or sales page to have identical language? Of course not! Do you need to reinvent the wheel every time you’re promoting a new offering on your site? No way.
As with all templates, keep these simple and customizable: Indicate which chunks of text are mandatory for all, and which ones should be swapped out with copy specific to the new product. Making landing and sales page templates available to your assistant will keep you on-brand and make it easy and fast to create new products and offers.
Try checklists for launches and events
The energy and buzz that surrounds a live event, online AMA, video shoot, or new product launch can be electrifying. It can also be incredibly stressful and overwhelming, which often leads to key steps being skipped or forgotten.
Building out checklists to keep yourself and your assistant on-task and accountable will help these high-pressure processes run smoother.
Be sure to chart out the activities that need to take place before, during, AND after; you want prep, live time, and follow-up all delineated clearly and simply.
Build social media image templates to simplify your assistant’s processes
You’ve got your brand fonts and colors, you know which styles of photo resonate with your clients, and you post to specific media on the regular. Why not streamline the process by building a handful of social media image templates for each of your faves?
Again, asking your assistant to build each image from scratch and size to the correct proportions is straight-up bonkers. Programs like Canva or Picmonkey make creating and storing image templates a snap!
Say it with me now: Time-management preferences are personal, but time-management best practices are universal. Hope you’ll consider incorporating a few templates and checklists into YOUR workflow!
PS. Don’t forget…click here to grab my free template & guide to make hiring for your team easier with a standard operating procedures manual. Whether you’re hiring a VA, project manager or admin assistant, SOPs will create streamlined processes for your small business. Get the FREE template! 📋