How to Automate Your Job (at least the boring bits)
Automation has been a part of our everyday lives. From self-driving cars to smart houses, it has proven to be a useful and accessible concept that has helped people from all over the world. With everyday household tasks becoming much easier because of automaton, it is no wonder it has become such an integral part of the workplace as well.
We all have tasks that are so repetitive that they take such a massive chunk of our time at work. Automating these tasks will drastically improve your productive potential.
In this blog, we’ll help you find out what part of your job you can automate and how. Read on!
How do I know which tasks I can automate?
The best tasks to automate are those that are small and repetitive. Take a quick look at your daily tasks at work. Which do you think are low-value and time-consuming in your workflow? They may not be a top priority, but the job has to be done. These tasks may include tracking your hours, scheduling meetings, invoicing, monitoring budgets, etc. These can be automated with ease when you have the right tools.
If you want to find out what tasks you can automate, follow this simple process:
1. Keep track of your workflow.
When you list down everything you are doing in each working day, you can easily find out how you spend your productive time. This data will help you understand your productivity and will help you identify which are low-value and time-consuming, which are the ideal automation candidates.
2. Analyze your performance.
You have to determine which tasks in your workflow make use of the skills under your job description. These tasks should be the main focus of your job. You should spend more time on these tasks instead of the smaller tasks that may interrupt your focus because of their boring or repetitive nature.
3. Find the best tools for automation
When you’ve successfully identified your low-value tasks, you should start looking for the best tools you can use to automate them. You should consider whether you want an automation tool to handle your task entirely or if you simply want a specific part of your task automated. Always keep in mind that the main reason for automation is to give you more time to focus on meaningful work. There will be a learning curve for automation tools so you should consider how these tools will fit in with your workflow. It should give you more time and not be a new type of unproductive work.
What are the best automation tools?
Automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have been all the rage in the software development industry. They are increasingly integrated into different websites and applications, but many of them claim to automate when they merely are using creative and clever UI. These tools can make your tasks a little easier to manage, but they don’t address the real problems.
When you have a true automation tool in your hands, created by experienced software developers, it will execute a boring task for you and provide you with better results than your manual work. Automation should not be expensive and complicated. Several automation tools can help you focus on what matters.
Administrative and Organization Tasks
We are all too familiar with these types of work. Especially for those focused on admin work, what’s your highest record of emails received within the day? The number is high – that’s for sure. Reports state that an average worker receives at least 200 emails a day, and no matter how high these numbers might go, we can’t just simply ignore them. Hours and hours of your time at work will be spent on reading and replying to these emails, but this makes them the perfect candidate for automation.
Can you imagine having almost no notifications from your email? Most email providers allow you to set up labels so you can automatically prioritize the emails you receive based on the sender of some keywords. Furthermore, there are AI tools such as Boomerang, Astro, and AIZimov that learn your email habits. They can make smart suggestions and can even write natural response templates.
Another admin task you can automate is organizing meetings. From planning to managing schedules, you can use tools such as Zoom.AI and x.ai to automate all of these tasks and collate relevant information. You no longer have to look into various files to organize everything. Moreover, automation tools can be used during the meetings themselves. Tools such as Otter creates digital records of the minutes of the meeting, so no one has to worry about it anymore.
Project Management Tasks
If you’ve had experience with managing a project, you’ll know that your day-to-day work life will be focused on tons of micro-tasks you need to accomplish, or else your project will be in shambles. Luckily, automation is possible. A tool called Timely can automate project time tracking by capturing every second your team members spend on project tasks. It uses AI to create timesheets for them and therefore, it can give you an overview of your member’s workload, activity and capacity. This massively reduces the time and effort needed to coordinate resources and identify priorities.
There are also tools such as Trello that can help automate project scheduling and file sharing, especially when you have a huge team working on your project. Although these tools may not be automating your tasks per se, Doodle and Wrike help you run multiple projects, calculate capacity, and manage employees. They streamline collaboration, thus making everything run more seamlessly.
Lastly, project management tasks always come with project reporting, and this can take hours. There is a smart app called Sisense that help you automate these labour-intensive tasks. You can share interactive dashboards and produce detailed reports by using AI-powered insights. You can quickly analyze complex data, create reports and dashboards, and track KPIs with apps such as Adaptive Insights as well.
Accounting work is highly repetitive and methodical, making it perfect for automation. If you have to keep track of timesheets, payments, and expenses, automation can make these tasks easier. You no longer have to fill out timesheets or chase down your employees to complete theirs because automatic time tracking app can do all these for you. It will track the work of your employees and use AI to translate these activities into an accurate timesheet. Employees no longer have to be distracted from their work to time track.
For payments, on the other hand, there are tools such as QuickBooks that can help you manage your expenses. It can help you with payment and management of invoices, paying employees and clients, and even sending estimates. You can also gather key financial statements when needed.
READ MORE: Automation In Digital Architecture