The Basics of Leveraging Automation To Improve Productivity
Don't get intimidated by the word #Automation. It's oftentimes accompanied by the idea that you have to be some type of computer programmer to use advanced automated systems. In actuality, you just have to be able to identify areas that can be improved and out of that, create simple parameters around what you're trying to accomplish.
Over the past few years that I've really been leaning into business automation and learning more about it, I've been able to drastically increase my own productivity, as well as the productivity and efficiency of each team I manage.
The definition of Automation can be vastly simplified.
In its most simple form, an automation in this context is delivering relevant information to the right people at the right time without the need for human interaction to relay said information.
Step 1: Identify the inefficiency.
This might not even actually be to the level where anyone else sees a problem. But it's your responsibility to recognize areas that can be improved on and actually do something about it.
Examples of everyday inefficiencies can be anything ranging from your customers not receiving a notification that their order has been shipped, all the way to members of your team feeling like they're "out of the loop" on certain tasks. Simply find things that aren't working as well as they could be.
Step 2: Plan the best course of action.
I will always look to see if a system offers the features I'm looking for natively before resorting to using a 3rd party integration. Oftentimes, if you dig deep enough, you will find that you can achieve the desired results by tweaking the configurations of your preexisting software by utilizing its features more intensively.
If there are no solutions inside of the software itself, I usually move to either Zapier or IFTTT to begin laying the groundwork for the automation to operate on.
Step 3: Configure the parameters of your automation.
If you are able to find the ability to achieve what you're wanting to accomplish natively inside of the service you're currently using, then you're in business! But if not, below are two great resources for configuring that automation using a 3rd party.
How to configure your first automation using Zapier
How to configure your first automation using IFTTT
Explore some of the preexisting triggers and actions through both of these services and start customizing them to better fit your specific needs. Most of these already have the groundwork laid for you, all you have to do is dig in and start learning!
I hope this article has helped you have a more clear understanding of what an automation actually is, by demystifying the process of creating your own and increasing your efficiency!
As always, please let me know what else you'd like to learn and if there's anything I can cover in more detail. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to be in the loop on all of my latest content!