When I was in Civil Air Patrol I was introduced to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) - I quickly became a fan. I like standardizing certain components of my life. Do the work upfront once and make it infinitely easier and less prone to error each time I do that task in the future.
I'm currently using the technique I'm about to outline to handle my weekly, monthly, and quarterly finances, writing my accountability blog posts, journaling for Forex, and a host of other recurring tasks that rarely change.
Step 1: Make a list
What tasks do you do on a regular basis? From that list pull those items that rarely have variation. For this post I'll use my Weekly Finances list as an example.
Step 2: Figure out the steps for each task
What steps do you do in order to complete that task? A few of the things I do for weekly finances are:
- Capture hours worked
- Send out invoices
- Update any payments that came through in the previous week
- Pay off my credit cards
What are the things that make a job "done" for you? That's what we want.
Step 3: Sign up for TickTick
I've found this program does all I need it to for creating simple, recurring SOPs.
Step 4: Create a task
I'm naming mine "Weekly Finances". Just name it whatever makes sense to you.
Step 5: Add a checklist
Once you've created a task you can add a checklist to it. That's where we're going to use our list of steps for our task. Once you complete your checklist for a task it'll be marked as complete
Step 6: Make the task recurring
In TickTick choose how often the task should recur. I'm setting mine to be every Monday at 8:00 AM. That means I'll get a notification in Google Chrome and on my phone to take care of this.
Bonus: Connect your calendar
If the phone and browser notification isn't enough you can set up TickTick with your calendar so it will add an event in your calendar to take care of your SOP.
I've found this method works extremely well with me. Hope it helps you too.