Regardless of what you have going on, once you have a lot of plates spinning it’s all about creating a system for things to save time on the little tasks. At least that’s how I look at things. I don’t want to start my morning worrying about the little things I could have scheduled so I wouldn’t have to worry about it throughout the day.
Luckily, I’ve started incorporating more automation in my business and blogging practices. It’s not only taken away some of the light stress that adds up, it’s actually helped me create more time throughout my days to focus on the big picture stuff. So today I wanted to share with you a few of the templates and automated tasks to help you find more time as well!
Create image templates for your blog
If you’re not using image templates for your blog posts yet, it’s time to get on that! These will not only help speed up creating your post graphics, but it’ll help keep your graphics on brand as well. I keep a special folder in my main blogging folder for all of the templates I’ve created. I regularly clear out what I’m not using anymore, but keeping a folder of everything is a perfect way to move along your process.
Automate blog post sharing
It wasn’t until I started automating my sharing that I realized how much time I devoted to sharing. Instead of waiting until after the post is published to then share on social media, I’ve started to make sure that my sharing is scheduled or setup at the beginning of the week. I talked about how I use CoSchedule to schedule my social media, but I’ve also utilized IFTTT to automatically post my graphics to my Pinterest board for the blog. I’m also in the process of setting it up to post straight to G+ as well, but that’s a little more difficult.
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Set aside time for scheduling social media
Obviously to have time throughout your week you have to set aside time 1-2 times per week to schedule. For me, it’s the trade off that makes it worth it to dedicate an hour or so to scheduling to then not have to worry about it throughout the week. When it comes to scheduling social media this means: repeated shares of your blog posts (the automation won’t share it regularly throughout the month), peers’ posts, and Pins on Pinterest (I’ve seen substantial growth in the last three weeks from using Board Booster). This means I can stop worrying about remembering to post or share something on social media because for the most part everything is taken care of.
Make your business tasks faster
A lot of people like to do a lot of custom things for their business, which ends up making the smallest tasks take way longer than they should. I know because that’s how I used to work. I used to go into Illustrator every time I needed to make an invoice. Now, I send my invoices straight through PayPal, which is so much faster. As for my other ways to make things a little faster? I keep a general contract saved on my computer that I can open and edit every time I need to send it to a new client. It has all the conditions for my projects, and I’ll just tweak it for the new project. I use Basecamp for my project management, so I keep 4 different templates that I can pull from when I’m starting a new project instead of creating a new project and having to create new files, discussions, and to do lists every single time. In addition, I do have a copy and paste script for when people contact me with interest in working with me.
These basic tasks can take away a lot more hours from your work week than you may realize, which is why I started automating everything that was a regular task. It’s definitely allowed me to have more time throughout my day to get work done, which most days allows me to be done earlier than how late I used to work.
Do you automate any of your tasks? Which ones? If not, would you consider it?