Do you find yourself reinventing the wheel every time you work on a routine task?
Interested in giving your work a mini-productivity boost?
In this post, I’ll show you how you can speed up your work by creating templates.
Templates are great work helpers, especially if you are performing a routine task over, and over, again.
Taking time now to create a template for a routine document or office process will save you lots of time and energy in future.
Unsure as to whether or not you need a template in the first place?
Check out the bullet points below and see if they ring true for you and your situation:
- You work on a task, project, or assignment regularly, and come across similar or repeating information
- You are constantly wasting time and energy preparing, collecting, processing, or organizing information
- You’re tired of having to stop working so you can figure out what information you need to prepare, collect, process or organize
- You want to make information clear for others to read and process
- You want to collect information properly and completely the first time around
- You want to streamline your work
- You want to make your day more productive
Here’s some tips on how you can create your very own template:
Identify a regular task.
Select a task you repeat on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis.
It doesn’t matter how long of a time it will be until you next perform the task; what really matters is that the task is recurring.
The idea is to have a structure in place and ready for you to use when you need it.
Example: Let’s say you work at a small office and it is your job to regularly book appointments for your boss with new clients. You regularly send meeting confirmations via email. In this case it would make sense to make a basic template of a confirmation email.
Confirm information to be collected.
What information do you need to either fill in or provide for said task? Gather as much information as possible.
Example: In the case of booking appointments, you’d probably need to have dates, times, people’s names, meeting locations, confirmation phone numbers and the like.
Create the template.
Starting drafting a simple version of your template. Double-check your template with past work to make sure you have all the details in place.
Example: In the case of booking appointments, you’d check past emails and note the exact details you’ll need.
Your template might look something like this:
This email is to confirm your appointment with _________. Please find the meeting details below:
Should you need it, _________’ cell phone number is _________.
When you use the template, you’ll just fill in the blanks. It might look something like this:
Dear Ms. Smith,
This email is to confirm your appointment with Ms. Jones. Please find the meeting details below:
Date: Friday, February 12th
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: The Restaurant, 123 Anytown Way, Anytown, USA
Should you need it, Ms. Jones’ cell phone number is 555.555.5555.
Save the template.
Give your template a reference name and title, and store it in a safe location so you’ll know where to find it.
Remember, templates are works in progress and should be edited as needed. Feel free to make edits as needed when you need to incorporate new information, facts, figures etc.
How about you? What recurring tasks do you perform on a daily or weekly basis? Are you going to create a template to streamline your work? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!