Workflow How-To

By Amanda Engler

“Workflow” is a buzzword worth repeating, so I will. WORKFLOW. 

Finding ways to increase your workflow without also upping your time is essential in growing, scaling and automating your business. As a mom and solopreneur, I needed to protect my time so I could serve my family and grow my business. 

Quickly, I became obsessed with time and figured out a few tricks to protect it along the way. Let’s review some practical tips to help you find your own flow.

Choose your platform

Choosing a workflow or project management platform that aligns with your current needs is the first step in maximizing your time and getting work done. Although applications like Toggl, Trello and Google Sheets are useful (and I do use all of them!), they have a time and place. You will save time designating one application as your workflow go-to. 

The four most visible platforms include Salesforce (the 800-pound gorilla in the room with the cost to match), Zoho, Accelo and Monday.com. Each platform offers a host of integrations and you will want to ensure that the one you choose works with the software you have. 

For example, are you a G-Suite user or do you have Microsoft Office? Accelo is more G-Suite centric, while Salesforce is more geared toward Microsoft Office users. Other questions you will want to consider before handing over your credit card include: What features are most important to you and your business? What industries are they currently serving? Do they have excellent customer service reviews and training videos?

Exercise gratitude

Gratitude is life-changing. As the old saying goes, a happy worker is a productive worker. Practice daily gratitude by writing it down in a journal or on a mirror with a dry erase marker. It can be easy to say, “I am thankful for my family,” but try to dig deeper. 

A few of my favorite things to be grateful for are: my daughter’s toddler giggles, automated coffee makers, my husband’s wit, and my son’s crazy, incessant questions. Putting your gratitude to pen will elevate your mood and give wings to the quality of your work.

Power down

AKA, eliminate distractions! Do whatever you need to do so you can blow through that pile of work. Yes, I am telling you to put your phone away (or turn it off). At least activate your “Do Not Disturb” function. Go on, do it! 

Having the discipline to power down is imperative to your success. According to “Business of Apps,” a news and data site for app businesses, the average U.S. smartphone user receives 46 app push notifications per day. And that’s just apps! That doesn’t include all the times your mom calls or the group text messages you receive.

Just think of it this way – the sooner you get through your to-do list, the sooner you can get back to those text messages, Facebook notifications or Instagram stories.

Juggle with purpose

Intentional multitasking. Women are excellent at this… sorry, not sorry, guys. We can have the laundry going, crockpot cooking, kids crying, and still sling emails. Now, this isn’t exactly intentional multitasking, but a lot is still getting done! 

True intentional multitasking would be preparing for the next steps while you are waiting for something to download. Or working on the same task for multiple clients at once, like social media posts. Side-note: working with two computer monitors is life-changing!

Prioritize

At the end of the day, I write down five things that I must get done the very next day. Then, I use time-blocking to ensure I have the time to do it. I use my Google calendar religiously to schedule specific tasks or projects at specific times. When I wake up, I know exactly what I need to be doing and when, and I don’t waste any time getting started. 

Adopting these few workflow habits, especially as a solopreneur, has done wonders for me and my ability to work effectively and efficiently. I hope these tips come in handy for you, too!

Amanda Engler is a virtual administrative consultant and event professional and the founder of Amanda V Engler, LLC. She is a graduate of the Free Mama Movement 12-Week Program, which empowers moms not to have to choose between family and finances. Engler resides in Traverse City with her husband, Grant; son, Silas, 5; and daughter, Scarlett, 2. Visit www.amandavenglerllc.com.

To see the full issue go to: https://www.grandtraversewoman.com/nov-dec-2019-issue/