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How Automation Can Save You Time and Make You Money

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Let’s start with the bad: many of us spend 65% of our time on tasks that aren’t even directly related to sales when it comes to our businesses. And you know what that means — you aren’t generating revenue.

But here’s the good part: through automation, you can free up 30% of your time. 

All that extra time can go directly to your zone of genius work, which is the stuff you’re good at, the stuff you love, and the stuff that makes you money.

So let’s talk a bit more about automation — what it is, why you need it, and some simple ideas to integrate it into your business. I covered all-things automation on episode 21 of the Determined AF podcast, so give that a listen, too.

Automation is a Piece of Cake 

Automation may sound fancy, but it’s something you already do to some extent. At its core, task automation is the use of tools or software to automate repetitive or manual tasks.

For example, many of us use Zoom for meetings and calls. It’s likely that whenever you book a Zoom meeting, it automatically creates an appointment on your calendar to remind you of that call. This is a simple form of automation because it reduces the need to manually add the appointment to your calendar.

Automation can be applied to virtually any system or workflow, which I like to describe as baking a cake.

Your cake recipe includes all the ingredients you need to purchase, how you should prepare them, and the steps to take to put it all together. With this illustration:

  • The ingredients are similar to the tools, people, files, or apps necessary for your process. If you’re scheduling a discovery call, this might be your app, the client, your calendar, and Zoom.
  • The recipe instructions are your workflow or system. So, just like the recipe tells you how to mix the ingredients in a bow, your workflow tells you how to move from a booking to a live Zoom call.

Any task or project you do on a regular basis has a workflow to it. There are steps you take repeatedly that help you get from point A to B to C.

And once you’ve identified that workflow or system, you can add in automation.

Automation is the bridge between separate points in your workflow. But instead of doing them manually or trying to remember it all, you can leverage technology to “set it and forget it” and improve the process.

"Many of us spend 65% of our time on tasks that aren't even directly related to sales when it comes to our business. But fortunately for you, you can actually free up 30% of your time that you spend on your daily tasks when and if you implement automation."

Benefits of Task Automation

The very word “automation” speaks to increased efficiency and productivity. When doing things manually, it’s common to forget steps or complete them in the wrong order — both of which waste time.

Time is also wasted by task-switching. When you move back and forth between tedious administrative tasks to your creative tasks to your focused work, you’re using different parts of your brain. Constantly switching between them drains your energy and slows you down.

But if you can automate those tedious tasks, you free up brain space to work in your zone of genius.

There are other benefits to automation, too:

  • Easily designate tasks to team members by integrating them into your automated system
  • Reduce human error and forgetfulness using a software tool for consistent results
  • Eliminate the need to hire other people (thus saving money) by increasing your personal efficiency
  • Quickly scale your business by focusing on big-ticket clients and projects instead of mundane tasks
  • Easily set and track goals, sales, or reports

The bottom line is that process automation for businesses improves efficiency which, in turn, creates opportunities for scalability and predictable, strategic outcomes thanks to consistent processes.

"When you free up these mundane tasks by automating them, you have more time to focus on your zone of genius, which ultimately generates more sales into your business. So with productivity increased, quality is maintained when you have workflows established."

Where to Implement Automation in Your Business

At this point you may be thinking, “Sounds great. So what should I be automating?”

The main area to automate is your repetitive tasks — anything you do on a regular basis, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. Repetitive tasks can also be attached to specific projects or workflows.

For example, here are two types of repetitive tasks:

  • Repeat in a specific timeframe: This includes things like your weekly newsletters, monthly financial reports, or quarterly team meetings.
  • Repeat for a specific project: This includes things that are triggered by an event related to a project, such as booking a discovery call after someone uses the contact form on your website. After they reach out, what happens? There is likely a sequence of repetitive tasks that occur after that initial outreach.

Take a moment and think about all the repetitive tasks you do each day or week. I bet there’s a lot! This represents a massive opportunity for automation.

Other common examples of automation include:

  • Notifications related to project delivery of missed deadlines
  • Assigning tasks to team members
  • Streamlining communications
  • Automating invoicing or financial reporting
  • Managing calendar and appointment requests

One of my own automated workflows is triggered when someone fills out the inquiry form embedded on my website. Once they do so, it creates a task for me in my dashboard, flags it as high priority, and assigns a deadline for follow-up. I can also tweak the system to automatically assign to a team member if needed.

So instead of having to remember to follow up with the inquiry, there’s an automatic process that keeps me accountable to the timeline and tasks I want to keep.

My Favorite Tool for Automation

There are so many choices today to help automate your tasks. My tool of choice is ClickUp, which is a project management software program similar to Asana or Trello. These options, among others, are all great choices — you’ll need to evaluate functionality and price points to select the right option for your business.

I started using ClickUp around five years ago while working as a real estate agent.

At the beginning, I simply created folders that housed documentation and information about all of my clients. I liked that it was in one central location where I could stay organized.

From there, I started leveling up and taking advantage of ClickUp’s capabilities. I documented all the small tasks I frequently completed — social media posts, reconciling receipts, client calls, or weekly newsletters. I set recurring deadlines for each of them, which eliminated the need for me to remember everything each month.

Hiring my first VA (virtual assistant) was the next step in the automating processes. Because I’d already laid out workflows, I could assign my VA to specific tasks and integrate her into the system.

Now, mostly everything I do on any kind of regular basis is thoroughly detailed in ClickUp. I can go in and tweak or change things, but I know that there is an automated system in place to keep things moving from A to B to C.

And you know what? This is just the start.

Automation can really be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. If you’re interested in getting started with automation, I suggest you start with these simple steps:

  • Take inventory of the tasks you first see repeated on your calendar
  • Note any templates you’re using in your business
  • Record tasks you’re prone to forget
  • Input all of the above into a project management system

Automation has the potential to transform your business and your work life. I know this because it changed mine! Remember to dive into episode 21 of the podcast to hear even more about automation in your business.

If you need an extra boost to get started, download my Productivity & Time Management Planner, which has a whole section dedicated to automation. I know that automation can give you more time back in your life, which I'm sure is in alignment with your longer term vision of freedom and flexibility! You can also always schedule a 1 on 1 call with me for personalized support — contact me to get started!

Time equals money, no matter your industry. And time is the one thing you cannot get back, so get more of it back in your day to do the things that make you money -or- so you can do more of what you love! Automation can help you do just that!


So, what will you automate first??

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**Disclosure** This post may contain affiliate links and they are at no additional cost to you, though I may earn a small commission. Don't worry, I only recommend products or services that I have tried or believe would be of great value to you! All opinions expressed are those of my own!

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