How many times have you been interrupted during your workday, only to forget what you were doing when you tried to get back on task? If you’re like most business owners, the answer is, “Too many to count.”
Our days are constantly hijacked by emergencies (both real and–often–contrived). We hop on social media when we shouldn’t, and the kids or co-workers vie for our attention. In essence, stuff happens. And without a clear and concise workflow in place, getting back on track without forgetting a step is next to impossible.Without clear workflows, staying on track is a challenge with the interruptions you face daily. Click To Tweet
Many years ago, I worked in a pharmacy. Customers would stop by the counter to drop off prescriptions, some of which were literally a matter of life or death. We had an exact workflow to walk through to fill the prescription correctly. From entering the data into our computers to pulling and measuring the right medication to checking off that we were delivering the right prescription to the right customer at the cash register, if we missed a step there was a very real chance that we’d harm someone.
The stakes aren’t quite as high in business as they are in health care, but they’re still there. Without workflows, you’re chancing that you’ll forget a critical step in your client work or that a safety feature in your product might get forgotten.
Workflows aren’t the to-do list you keep in Trello or in your planner. According to Wikipedia, where I was able to find the most comprehensive definition, a workflow is “an orchestrated and repeatable pattern…enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes…”
The key here is “repeatable.” Because chances are, you repeat the same tasks over and over again with and for different clients–no matter what your industry.Workflows are repeatable patterns in your business, the guide for tasks you do over and over again. Click To Tweet
As a bookkeeper, I go through the same steps every day, week or month to take care of my clients. Sure, each step is customized to each client because each business is a bit different. But at the end of the day, the workflow is still the same.
Sometimes, my day is hijacked by something outside my control while I’m in the middle of my client work. But with my workflows in place, I know exactly where I’ve left off so I can jump back into the project without having to backtrack and without the risk of forgetting a step.
If you’re new to using workflows in your business, you’ll want to get started right at the beginning–establishing a clear flow of work for your day or week. Grab my sample weekly workflow template below to start now!