Running a business is a lot of work especially during the holidays. To do lists get longer, the pressure to make sales gets higher, and finding time to spend celebrating gets harder and harder.
A lot of the important online marketing stuff like maintaining a blog for your business and managing a variety of social media channels is a fulltime job in itself.
Here are three ways to optimize parts of your business to make the holiday season more enjoyable. My top tips to get more done in less time.
Getting a handle on dealing with certain tasks more efficiently could be the difference between making incredible memories or living a nightmare over the holidays.
Batching- the best way to save time and lessen your cognitive load
Batching is a great way to streamline tasks. Science proves batching work Improves focus, increases productivity and serves as a catalyst to entering a state of flow (that incredible stream of time when work flows freely and constantly).
How to incorporate batching into your workflow-
Chunk your workload down- then dedicate blocks of time to one specific type of task like:
- Outlining blog content
- Writing blog content
- Scheduling social media posts
- Designing social media and blog graphics
- Pitching potential clients
Compartmentalizing these important tasks will ultimately save you time. Reducing task switching will help you get more done working less. Batching tasks weekly and/or daily creates a predictable routine. Developing a routine helps you lessen your cognitive load, you don’t have to think so hard figuring out what to do next!
Templates- build your brand with less effort
Some things just work great for templates, ready-made formats kind of like cookie cutters! Having some at the ready will help you get things done faster. Here are some examples to get you thinking about different ones you could design:
Blog content- choose a format you’ve already used and replicate it every time you write posts like these:
- How to posts
- Product reviews
- Landing pages
Templates also work great for headlines. Here’s a comprehensive list of 101+ Popular Blog Title Templates That Work really well!
Social media content- using the same fonts and colors across various social channels saves me a bunch of time designing graphics.
I use Canva for Work which lets me load custom fonts and my own brand colors. I can then design custom templates for layout and text to adapt easily for all of my social channels. All I need to do is switch out the photo and change what the text says! Here’s where I use templates most often for social media:
- Certain types of Facebook post images
- Pinterest pins
- Blog featured image graphics
- Themed social media messaging
Emails- I send the same kind of emails every week, how about you?
Personalizing each one is super important but a lot of what I need to communicate is the same. This post “The “Secret” Trick to Delivering Consistent Customer Service as an Online Business Owner” by Erica Madden at Olyvia.co has some fabulous tips and examples of ways to script a variety of email responses.
Ones like these below are really easy to replicate.
- Thank yous
- Client pitches
- Next steps
The bottom line is, preparing a selection of templates for certain parts of your business will help you save precious time and establish consistency in the look of your brand and the overall tone for your business.
Outsourcing- Cut down your “to do” list and get a better big-picture view of your business
Outsourcing is the one thing that could make the biggest difference to your schedule this holiday season. Managing day to day tasks more efficiently is definitely part of getting through the holidays happily. Eliminating certain tasks all together will help you feel a sense of accomplishment like never before!
The biggest benefits of outsourcing tasks are
- More time to focus on the parts of the business you love
- Better quality personal time worrying less about tasks you tend to put off
- A greater sense of accomplishment
You can give away a little or a lot of your “to do” list. There are capable Virtual Assistants at the ready 24/7 even during the holidays!
Here are some things a VA could take care of for you
- Content creation- Everything from blog post ideas to completed articles.
- Social media management- Full on management or running the show a couple days a week.
- Email management- Prioritizing and responding to important things in your inbox
- Scheduling and organizing events- Planning and booking travel to event planning.
I have outsourced a variety of things, over my career as a brick and mortar business owner and online entrepreneur. Every time I do my productivity improves greatly. I always end up accomplishing way more than I thought I would.
Experiencing the benefits of outsourcing for myself is why I love being a Virtual Assistant so much. I love helping fellow entrepreneurs save time, stress less, and increase revenue for their businesses. I know outsourcing time-intensive tasks can achieve all of those things for busy entrepreneurs.
All of these tips to get more done in less time are strategies I use to better serve my clients. I know first hand batching, using templates, and outsourcing can reduce hours worked dramatically. Busy times of the year like the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day are a great time to try any and all of these strategies. Doing so could improve your work life balance forever:)