Automation

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The idea of automation is enticing.

What could life be like with passive income, automated financial tracking, preset photo editing and canned email replies? I’m stoked already!

The reality is a lot trickier than this. Setting up automations to effectively match your workflow takes a solid understanding of the system you work with. Also, knowing which parts of your automation to keep flexible is a tough call. Additionally, creating automations takes a a big front-end time investment where you don’t see results for a while.

I definitely want to get better at automating my business and life, but here are a few things I’ve been successful in automating for myself and others already:

Project Pricing

As I discussed in my post on charging more, pricing your work can be an emotional thing. When someone asks for a quote in the middle of a workday, I don’t want to waste any time guessing what they can pay based on their branding and email wording. This is why I’ve automated my pricing sheet for my services. Now, I can plug and play without letting insecurities get in my own way.

Email Campaigns

I’ve helped a few companies collect emails with Facebook Ads and nurture those leads with email marketing. To maximize efficiency, I set up email campaigns that automatically send people emails at specific times. Now, when someone downloads a free resource from one of these companies, a series of emails over the following weeks begins to educate them on the service, encouraging them towards the sale. Once this is set up, I’ve basically got a digital assistant on my side, sending emails for me.

Morning Decisions

When I’m able to wake up early and take a couple hours for myself, my day is much more productive and healthy. But waking up early is a pretty tough thing to do, so I complete a set of actions before I allow myself to decide if I should jump back into bed. First, I put my alarm on the other side of the room, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. Second, I make myself go to the kitchen and drink a glass of water. By automating the first two decisions of the day, I’m able to make sure I’m in the right headspace before I decide what to do. Pro tip: convincing yourself to stay awake while you’re still in bed is a suckers game. You’ll always lose.

Errands

My brother batches his errands and chores to just one night per week. He only does little things like paying bills and grocery shopping on Wednesday nights. This isn’t exactly automation, except that he automates all those decisions to default to Wednesday nights. Every other day of the week he can make a note of what needs to be done, and stay focused on the task at hand.

Social Media Moderation

I’ve made early use of the iPhone’s Screen Time App Limits feature and I love it. It helps me make sure I’m not spending too much time on social media (I limit it to an hour per day). When I reach my limits, I have to click past three extra screens to access the apps. This mostly keeps me from falling into the mindless scrolling binges that sometimes happen when we’re tired. Instead of always wondering how much time I’m spending on Social Media, and feeling bad for using it, now I can use that mental energy elsewhere by trusting the system.

What Else?

What else do you automate in your life that you think the rest of us should try out?

Send me message and I’ll add it to this blog.

Joshua Reese