If anything sucks the enthusiasm and lifeblood out of workers, it’s daily mundane and repetitive tasks. The tasks that hardly serve any purpose beyond something that just needs to get done.
These types of tasks are what causes procrastination, bad attitudes, burnout, and overall unhappiness. When possible, avoid them at all costs.
Or – automate them!
If you find yourself in Excel often, macros could be a complete gamechanger for you.
Let’s say you work at a bank, and your boss sends you a giant excel spreadsheet filled with loan prospects. Your job is to clean up the sheet, reformat it, and get it ready for analysis. Typically, this may take you 15 minutes to do – but you do it 5 times every day. That adds up!
By creating a macro, you can train Excel to do all of the repetitive tasks. Once it’s set up, you simply run the macro, and everything gets formatted instantly, saving you tons of time.
Here’s a video that explains how:
There’s software out there for pretty much everything. If you’re a salesman, you can automate sales workflow and pipeline management with software like Aritic. If you’re a freelancer (or small business), you can automate most of your finances with an invoicing/accounting software like Freshbooks. And if you’re a digital marketing strategist, you can automate most of your design with graphic design software like Canva.
The possibilities are endless.
So, if you’re finding something in your workload particularly repetitive, see if there’s software out there that can bear some of the load.
Even though this could have gone into the software category, it deserved a section of its own. With the abundance of software out there, sometimes it can be frustrating to constantly switch between each of your programs because they don’t communicate with each other.
But what if they could?
Zapier bridges the gap between each of your software programs so that they can talk to each other.
For example, you can create a “zap” to tell Facebook to send you an email anytime there’s a new lead. And then you could send that lead directly into your CRM.
Or, if you were hosting an event on Eventbrite, you can create a “zap” to save all of the attendees into a Google Sheet automatically.
Or, you can create a “zap” to send a calendar reminder notification to a specific Slack channel.
I urge you to look up all of the software programs you currently use to see if there’s a way you can integrate them.
Propose hiring contractors
If you find yourself consistently being bogged down by repetitive tasks, ask your boss if you can contract some of the work out to freelancers online. That way, you can focus on high-value, productive work.
Here’s how you can bring it up to your boss:
“Tasks A, B, and C are consistently taking up x% of my week. All of this time could be spent doing D and E, which results in F and G. If we were to contract A, B, and C to freelancers online, we could save $xxx per month and get more of F and G.”