Here are some of the most time-consuming daily tasks you can automate, which you wish you’d have known sooner…
Do you find that you spend far too much time on general scheduling and admin when you should be focusing on income generating activities? Well, you’re not alone.
To put it into perspective, in a year people waste on average a whole week of their lives on one single 10-minute task that needs completing every day (remoteworkmate.com). That’s a whole week of someone’s year that could be automated.
Read on to see our shortlist of tasks that you can automate, that will help you get that time back…
1 Automate emails for efficient communications
If your inbox is an overflowing mess of chaos and you have to filter through email after email just to find what you need, then there are a few ways you can deal with this without the regular hassle.
By automating your inbox, you can process information from your email quickly and efficiently. And you can also make sharing files easier with tasks for uploading documents to SharePoint or emailing reports to stakeholders.
In Outlook you can file your emails as soon as they hit your inbox
Right click > rules > move
So that you have an organised inbox to work with.
2 Automate your digital filing and never waste time again searching
In a similar way that your inbox can auto file content, you can also set up systems that automatically files documents and attachments from your emails.
The first step is to create a document management system that can capture information from a scanner, mobile, email and other IT systems. The second step is to set up basic commands and rules so that the documents auto file within these parameters.
The benefits of document management systems include:
- Moving documents from accounts to accounts/office to office
- Downloading, storing and organising incoming email attachments
- Indexing documents
3 Automate reporting in Excel for accurate results
Reporting is a pain point for most of us and can be even more difficult without proper systems and processes, when having to enter information repeatedly.
Excel macros for example, can automate common and repetitive keystrokes to create and edit spreadsheets. By reducing the number of keystrokes required to perform common commands, macros speeds up your production and reduces the time you spend staring at an electronic spreadsheet each day (Techwalla.com).
- Efficiency and accuracy – processes can be repeated many times without the need to re-enter commands and parameters into instruction input fields
- Repeatability – operations may be repeated many times with variations in particular parameters
4 Automate your invoicing process so you never miss another payment
Keeping on top of in-goings and outgoings is a full-time role in larger companies, but in owner operated companies most processes usually fall to one person. Automating this function not only frees up time but alleviates anxieties with helpful reminders and notices.
Here are some benefits:
- Email reminders – when an invoice is due or overdue
When the invoice due date arrives, you can also set your invoicing tool to remind your clients
- Recurring invoices and automatic payments
- Scheduled invoices for future payments
- Matching incoming invoices with purchase orders
- Validating invoice amounts against agreed terms
- Emailing out invoices with all attached documents
[Wave has a free version and xero has a priced plan]
5 Automate meeting schedules to coordinate calendars
Coordinating schedules can be a huge hassle. When it’s done using calendar sync, that hassle is taken away. The process is quick and seamless. Everything from booking to cancelling to rescheduling meetings can be done instantly. Everyone gets notified as soon as any changes occur.
Calendly is a great option for those who do not have Office 365.
- It syncs with your Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendar so you’re never double booked
- Setting buffer times between meetings, preventing last minute or meetings that overrun
- Seamless time zone detection for your invitees so everyone’s on the same page
Can’t automate? Why not outsource…
Setting up systems and processes is easier for some than for others, but once you’re set up and ready to go, you’ll be well on your way!
If this sounds like you and you need a little guidance on how to get started, you can hire a virtual assistant to help set you up…
And then you can breathe a sigh of relief, happy in the knowledge that you never have to coordinate another meeting or chase another invoice again in your life.
If you are interested to find out what services and support we can offer you, click here to learn more.