“Automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money.” Rory Vaden
How would you like to significantly increase the time that you have available in any given day?
I think most of us would jump at an offer like this. Think of all the things that you wish you could fit into your day but you just don’t seem to have enough hours to get them done. Whether it is work related, family events, time at the gym or personal down time, there are always things that get sacrificed because there are just not enough hours in a day.
This has always been an issue for me. According to the StrengthsFinder profile system, one of my top talents is Achiever. If I am not taking on and solving issues everyday, I tend to get frustrated and demotivated. It just kills me when activities that I consider to be low value consume my time so that I cannot “achieve” my goals for the day, week or month.
So, how can you increase your time and get more of these high priority and high impact things done? Vaden does this by following his mantra; “Automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money.”
Basically, Vaden is saying that automating activities in your life is as powerful as compounding interest is to your investments. Vaden recommends automating as many activities as feasible in your daily schedule (refer to www.Eofire.com/podcast podcast 1106 for more details).
I started doing this in my career soon after I finished university and entered the work force. First, as a junior engineer, I created databases and programs that made it much easier and faster to generate drawings and to program control systems. Initially, I automated as much as possible because I jokingly said that laziness was the father of invention. But basically, I hated doing repetitive tasks and I wanted to get those done as fast as possible and move to bigger and better things. However, as my career advanced, I realized that automating the many activities I was responsible for freed me up to do higher value things and allowed my career to advance.
So, when I moved into a project manager role, I figured out how to automate much of the project data collection and reporting. Now, as a business executive, I automate as many tasks and activities as possible (including a big part of the process I use to write and post my blogs and LinkedIn updates).
My automation process is as follows;
- I constantly review all my activities and identify the ones that are highly repetitive
- Once I identify a repetitive task, I map it out into well-defined steps
- I take the map that I developed and ask the following;
- Is there a program available that I can purchase or rent that will do this task at least 80% as good as I can do it? If the answer is yes then buy it and implement it. If the answer is no, then go to the next question.
- Is there a manual service that I can reasonably purchase that can do this task at least 80% as good as I can do it? If the answer is yes then buy it and implement it. If the answer is no, then go to the next question.
- Is the activity logical enough that it can be programmed easily? Can I get a programmer to economically develop an application that can do this task at least 80% as good as I can do it? If the answer is yes then get it programmed and implemented. If the answer is no, then go to the next question.
- Is this repetitive activity more of a process that lends itself to a template? Can I speed up this task by creating a simple pre-formatted template? If the answer is yes then get it built and implemented. If the answer is no, then go to the next question.
- Is this a task that can be delegated to someone more cost effective? If the answer is yes then delegate it. If the answer is no then continue to do the task if it is vital but constantly review this process to see if there is a way to automate it.
- Go to step 1
Do you have repetitive, time consuming tasks that need to be automated? Get started this week automating as many of your tasks and activities as possible and see how much of your time can be freed up so you can get more high valued activities completed.
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