Upgrade Your To Do Lists – Creating Productive Processes

Presented by Ereika Stimley on 12/03/2018 2:00pm

Long To Do ListProductive Processes

As a freelancer, are you finding yourself always wearing all of the hats that are required to run a successful business? Can you relate to this quote?

“Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one.”

While many solo professionals thrive while handling multiple duties, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Important tasks can fall through the cracks in the general “busyness” of day-to-day operations.

If to-do lists aren’t the answer, then what is?

Where does all the time go?

Let's take a look at all of the responsibilities and tasks that need to completed in a typical freelancer's day.

Admin - Payroll, billing, taxes

Marketing - Advertising, networking, cold-calling, email marketing

Reporting - Tracking results for clients, customers and you

Presenting - Client meetings, onboarding, explaining

Creating - Designing, writing, coding, all the “work” of work

To Do Lists Can’t Do it Alone

With so many things to do in so many different areas, a freelancer’s To Do list starts getting out of control. We notice that once this starts to happen, it becomes difficult to determine what to do and when to do it. That is because our To Do lists often do not provide us with what is a priority.

Paid vs Admin

Which tasks are most profitable?

Maintenance vs New Biz

Which customers are worth more?


Do you have time for that convention?

Reporting & Planning

How can you optimize?

And maybe, more importantly, our To Do lists don’t allow us to see the Big picture. We get so caught up in the day to day of working the business that we easily miss the opportunities we have to really build and grow our business.

So what is the solution?

Build Systems That Work for You!

Building in blocks of time devoted to tasks can be more flexible than a to-do list. Things like blogging and client onboarding that have repeated steps can be streamlined and made consistent.

Time “Chunking” – Our Time, Our Rules

Blocking out time lets us be flexible with what we work on if priorities change, and it lets us plan for the long term. By setting aside specific hours for specific actions, we can build in consistency.

Design Work: M-W-F; 4 hours
Marketing: T-Th; 6 hours
Reporting: Every other Fri; 3 hours

  1. Systemize repeated tasks like blog posting, for example. Although each blog post has unique content, the process that use to collect what you need for the blog post is a constant. We can systematize when and how we combine the content, as well as which tools we will use to get what we need for each blog post. Optimizing our blog posting process means you can create high-quality content faster.
    • Mondays: Research – SEO tools, create templates
    • Tuesdays: Creation – Outlines, writing, social media content, etc.
    • Wednesdays: Revision – Optimizing for SEO, Conversions, and UX
    • Thursdays: Promotion – Marketing campaigns: social, email, AdWords, etc.
    • Fridays: Reporting – What works well? What can be improved for the next post?
  2. Systemize repeated tasks like onboarding clients.  The types of services we offer can be sectionized and a standard operating practice for each can be created. Then we can implement our process any time any client needs that service. This is a great way to  organize client onboarding. Optimizing the client onboarding process means you can reduce confusion, and create consistent experiences for all customers.
    • Project Proposals – Templates, reusable sections
    • Acceptance – Standardized contracts, agreements
    • Expectations – Client onboarding packets with FAQs, and intake
    • Reporting – Website maintenance reports, marketing results, etc.
    • Client Feedback – What works well? What can be improved? Referrals?

Eliminate Distraction

Even the best planning and systems require focus. Set up a space dedicated to getting work done. By doing this, our minds begin to learn to associate that space with work, especially when we build in a routine.

Interestingly, doesn’t even really need to be a separate space! It can be a simple ritualistic type of event like getting prepared to work for the day. The key is to build habits that lead to the work and the time that we will be doing work.

Practical Process Creating Tools

Presenter Bio: Ereika Stimley

Ereika Stimley is a content marketing consultant with over 18 years’ experience in the online marketing space. She works exclusively with SMBs and independent professionals in various industries, but with a particular focus on SaaS and service-based clients. 
With a focus on engaging storytelling alongside integrated, repeatable processes for engagement, Ereika crafts content marketing plans that resonate with customers from the first touch to the final conversion.