It’s 6:30 a.m. and your alarm just went off. You get out of bed, shower, brush your teeth and put on a pot of coffee. Every day. Like clockwork.
Your morning routine is automated. You don’t really have to think about it. It’s a ritual.
We have processes in place for some of the simplest things in our lives. But why is it so difficult to do the same for the harder things (like running a business)?
Here’s a secret: It doesn’t have to be.
As a business owner, you understand the importance of delegating (or eliminating) tasks that shouldn’t be on your to-do list. You leave the sales calls to the people you hired to sell your products. You have plenty of other things only you can do, and that means handing off responsibilities from your Drudgery Zone or eliminating tasks that ultimately aren’t that important to the long-term health of your business.
What often gets overlooked, though, are the things we do every day that we can be doing better—quicker, more efficiently, more easily.
For those tasks, you need automation.
The Process(es) of Automation
When you think “automation,” what comes to mind? Robots? Apps? Doc Brown’s breakfast machine from Back to the Future III?
In reality, automation is simply a term for processes that simplify, ritualize, and/or save you time. It’s a way to put things on autopilot so you have more time and energy for other things.
There are myriad ways to automate your life and your business. A good way to determine what to delegate, automate, or eliminate is using the Freedom Compass and Task Filter to identify and scrutinize everything you do for your business.
Once you’ve pinpointed what to delegate and what to eliminate, it’s time to start streamlining.
Here are a few ways you can do that.
What gets scheduled gets done. And what gets scheduled consistently is automation.
Creating your company’s budget is in your Desire Zone. You enjoy it, you’re good at it, and as the owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the financial health of your company.
The problem is, you sometimes get sidetracked by other responsibilities, and budgeting sometimes gets pushed to the backburner. The same goes for many of the other reports you need to do for your business on a regular basis.
Automation is key. Like turning off your alarm and hopping in the shower every morning, you can make these tasks routine. Start by scheduling them (if you’re a Full Focus Planner user, you can use your calendar, 12-Month View, Daily Rituals and Ideal Week pages for this). Create a process that allows you to turn these tasks into routine.
If every Wednesday morning is reserved for reviewing and creating reports, eventually, that automation will save you time and trepidation.
Meeting agendas. Email responses. Financial reports.
These are all things that often take longer than they need to. They’re also things that are ideal candidates for templating.
It seems simple, but that’s the point. Automation should be simple. Put in a little time on the front end (creating the templates) and save yourself time in the implementation process.
The elephant in the room with templating is simply being organized. If you download a template for meeting agendas but can’t find it in your files when you need it, you probably won’t end up using it.
If you have an Executive Assistant, this is even easier. Have your EA download a few template options for everything you might need them for and then choose the best options for you and your business.
You simply can’t run a business without technology, and you can’t optimize your business without keeping up with the latest technologies—especially the ones that help you get things done quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently.
There are countless app options available for just about all your business’s needs. Here are a few categories to consider for adding automation for your company:
Communication: Slack. Loom. Google Chat. And a million others. Whatever your needs and preferences are, it’s crucial to find ways to automate communication with your employees.
Project Management: Apps like ClickUp and Monday.com are, in a way, technological templating. Designed to streamline the project management process and make day-to-day project management plug-and-play, these types of apps help put everything in one place for you and your team.
Data Storage: Like project-management apps, your data storage app of choice (think Google Drive, Backblaze, etc.) puts everything in one place. Templates. Invoices. Reports. By creating a process for data storage, you’re automating from start to finish in storing and being able to easily retrieve and review whatever you might need to run your business.
Running a business is hard. By implementing automation tools and practices, you can make it easier—freeing up more time for you to grow your business and focus on your Double Win.
Last modified on August 15th, 2023 at 3:17 pm
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