Today's topic is one of my faves!
It's about how we can save time and in doing so speed up the pace towards hitting our goals... (we all want that right?)
Saving time is the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to productivity.
Whatever you do today that is routine and repetitive, may be able to be automated.
Let's start simple.
Say you have a regular call with a client, and as part of that you need to open up a few things:
- project tracker
- client brief doc
- notes from last call
- list of approved posts
Normally you'd open them all up one by one, maybe via bookmarks or by kind of auto completing in the URL bar.
Doing that might take a few minutes - doesn't seem like a big deal, right?
But if you're doing that several times a week, it could be 10-15 minutes. Multiply that by a few similar calls or meetings and it's an hour a week.
Lets say you instead took 5 minutes to setup a bookmark folder with all of these tabs, that you could launch with a single mouse click or keyboard shortcut.
Congrats, you just saved yourself 4 hours this month, with a whopping 16x ROI for the effort!
Imagine how much more progress you could make on working that exciting side project, or networking to land that great job with those extra hours?
Let's say you check your email several times a day in case there are messages from your boss or a key customer.
Instead you could use a platform like Zapier, Integromat or IFTTT to auto ping you on slack when you get a priority email - bravo!
This would save you the time of opening up email so often, not to mention the huge context switching cost - a quick 2 minute email check can cost you way more time in having to pick up your broken flow state when you pick that task at hand back up.
Even keyboard shortcuts can save tens of minutes each day, and many hours over a week.
Are you scrolling down to manually select rows in a spreadsheet instead of using Control Shift Down? Print screen, pasting and cropping to get a small screenshot instead of Win Shift S? etc.
Or do you find yourself constantly typing similar emails, or your address, or entries in a form? Setup a text document on a keyboard shortcut (or use an text expander app) to save yourself the retyping rigmarole.
Hopefully you're nodding along thinking this makes sense.
So how to start the automation process?
Have a day where you jot down every thing you do that's repetitive and routine.
Then you can do the quick calculation to see which are the biggest ones to try to speed up first, and go from there...
ps- some things can't be automated with programs, but can by people. If it's something simple that could be passed to someone else (eg- transcribing a video or researching best hashtags for a social post etc) then give it a shot! Good platforms to try are Fiverr and Upwork...