Automation: Learn, Package Up, Give Away and Repeat

A computer screen showing a code editor with coding language.

You’ve dreamed of this moment since you first met Brad “The Beast” Watson, who was qui‍‍‍te possibly the worst boss ever. I mean seriously, what 45 year old man names himself Brad… “The Beast”… Watson? Come to think of it, what 45 year old man still works as a shift supervisor at The Dairy Hut? But, enough about Brad. You’ve finally done it! You started your own company. You are your own boss. You are in charge. And you are free. That is, after you receive the latest shipment of product, drop the deposit by the bank, process payroll, run quality checks on the latest advertising campaign, interview the candidates for the open position over in customer service, contact the manufacturer about the damaged product received in the aforementioned shipment, approve the most recent product discounts your sales team requested, and finish strategically planning for your company’s future. You do, after all, want to continue being in charge, right? While slightly exaggerated, this is the predicament many people “in charge” find themselves in. They’re overly burdened by that which they have not yet automated, packaged up, and given away. It’s worth noting, to automate doesn’t necessarily mean to simplify using software. What we’re talking about here is, getting rid of those aggravatingly distracting, yet, necessary tasks preventing you from growing your business. At Greyphin, we like to encourage our clients to engage in a simple and valuable exercise, where all activities, both professional and personal, are tracked in a journal. This exercise can last anywhere from a week to a quarter. It simply depends on how deep you wish to chase this proverbial rabbit. Now, while it might seem senseless to track both personal and professional activities, it’s not. According to a recent study conducted by the accounting firm EY, 35 percent of Millennials surveyed worldwide, declared they struggle with work-life balance. EY also discovered 34 percent of Gen Xers and 30 percent of Baby Boomers also have this struggle (basically, that’s a boat load of the workforce today). The point I’m making is this, if we all generally struggle with work-life balance, it’s safe to assume we too will find it difficult to clearly compartmentalize personal and professional activities without first tracking them. Once your activities have been tracked, identify the professional tasks that repeat and determine how much your company is paying you to complete those repeated (and most likely, teachable) tasks. In order to determine if these repeated activities are a wise use of your time, divide your annual salary by the average number of hours you work in a year and multiply that by the number of hours you spend on that repeated task. Here’s the equation: (Annual Salary / Average Number of Hours Worked In A Year) * Number of Hours Spent On Repeated Tasks. Now, comprise a list of people these tasks could be delegated to if they were automated properly, and use the same equation from above in order to create, as barbaric as it sounds, an effective cost savings illustration. Clear as mud, right? Put simply, you make more money than someone you could delegate the repeated activity to; therefore, you’re using your company’s funds irresponsibly by continuing to pay yourself a premium to do that which could be automated, packaged up, and given away. So take a moment to set aside any excuses (because at the core of it, that’s what they are), roll up your sleeves, and get to it.