Automate Your Way To Success
I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the term ‘automation’ especially if you are an entrepreneur or online marketer.
Marketing automation is the process of using technology to streamline marketing efforts and make them more effective.
Many marketing departments automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns — not just for the sake of efficiency, but so they can provide a more personalized experience for their customers and this makes good business sense.
But automation isn’t just for business. You can use the principles of automation in your daily life too.
Think about it. The smart home is now a reality and the technology is getting smarter and cheaper. More people are working from home, either as an employee or entrepreneur and they need to use tools that can keep help them be more productive, and the line between home and marketing automation will start to blur.
In this post we’re going to look at ways to automate both your life and business so you can make the most of the tools available to you at present. Things will develop and only get better as technology improves but even now, there is a lot that you can do to automate your life, so let’s get started.
5 Ways To Automate Your Life
Wouldn’t it be great if, like your oven, you had a self-cleaning home? Or taxes that just magically did themselves every year? Or how about bills that pay themselves on time every month?
While we can’t automate everything, there definitely are a lot of things we can automate in our lives to save us time and energy so that we have more time to do those things we enjoy or those that will make us money!
- Automatic Bill Payment — This is one of those “why have I never done this before” type things. Once you’ve set this up in your bank account (if a physical check needs to be sent) or with the business receiving the payment (most have online automatic payment options), your regular monthly bills will magically get paid every month.
They’ll get paid on time and you won’t even need to think about it, except for the initial setup, and making sure you have money in the account to pay with when the payment is scheduled to go out.
- Computer Health and Security — Invest in good system scan and maintenance software (Iolo System Mechanic is highly recommended) and create a schedule of periodic system scans and clean-up.
In the same vein, an automatic backup system is also a necessity, if you want to protect everything that lives on your hard drive, like irreplaceable pictures.
- What You Eat — It’s an onerous task, but the only way you can truly get a firm hold on your diet is to do meal planning and prep once a week and stick to the plan.
There are so many benefits to this — not only do you save money by not eating out, but you save all those empty calories consumed, and you can be sure your body is getting what it needs.
You can take this one step further and either order from a service like Plated.com, where you’ll receive recipes as well as all the ingredients you need or hire someone to do the meal planning and prep for you, so all you must do is open the fridge or freezer, heat, and eat.
- Papers and Things — First, go paperless whenever you can. Most bills that you pay online have a paperless option, so use that. For everything else that you feel you need to keep, utilize a scanner so that you can keep everything on your computer instead of in physical filing cabinets or all over your desk surface.
Then, do a bit of research online to find a folders/files system that will work well for you and that you feel you can stick with, and then go organize everything. Luckily, this will only need to be done once if you stick with it.
- Shopping and Coupons — Whether it’s groceries, sundries, or extraneous goods…everything can be found online and delivered to your door. Amazon.com even has an option where you subscribe to things you need to purchase repeatedly (paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc.) and they’ll be automatically delivered on a schedule of your own choosing.
And, you’ll get discounts, too! When you do shopping like this online, you’ll often get coupons to use that give you an even deeper discount. And think of the time you’ll save not having to traipse through the supermarket!
5 More Ways To Automate Your Life
Automation is the future, and that future is now. It’s no longer science fiction to think about automating your interior lights or furnace or to have coffee already made for you the minute you get out of bed in the morning.
These things and much more have been utilized for years now by people who realize that doing less is how to get more (important stuff) done.
Here are five additional ways to automate your life!
- Automate Your Car — Automatic (automatic.com) is a service whereby you’re able to monitor gas mileage, service records and maintenance, trips, vehicle tracking, immediate accident reporting, and more all by plugging in a dongle to your car’s computer that then communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth or 3G.
There is a Lite version and Pro version, so if you don’t want to think about things like maintenance schedules, Automatic is for you.
- Make Your Smartphone Smarter — You can tell your Android smartphone to do certain things at certain times by using the Tasker App. Everything from dimming your screen to turning off notifications, to customizing your battery-saving settings, Tasker can do it.
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll need to jailbreak your phone first, and then search out individual apps to accomplish the tasks you’d like to automate.
- Integrate All The Things — If integration is your thing, Zapier.com is probably already on your radar, but if not, it’s worth the time to check it out. Want to create Google Calendar events from your Evernote reminders?
How about adding your ‘liked’ Instagram posts to Google Drive? Or maybe you’d like to save your new Freshbooks clients to a Active Campaign Client List? Zapier can get it done. And it is amazing!
- Home Automation — Home automation isn’t just for burglar alarms anymore. No, you can automate lighting, heating and air conditioning, sprinkler systems, outdoor grilling, vacuuming, mopping, even mowing the lawn!
As technology reduces the gap between where we are now and fully automated living, we’re sure to see many interesting inventions pop up in the near future, and beyond.
- Mundane Daily Chores — Remember the broom in Fantasia? Don’t you wish we all had one of those? While this isn’t a “true” automation, creating a schedule that utilizes time in your day in which to get those mundane tasks done will have you doing them without even realizing it.
For instance, while your coffee is brewing in the morning, wipe down the kitchen counters and stovetop. Wipe down the bathroom sink while you’re waiting for the shower to get hot. Utilizing these minutes to accomplish necessary tasks will help you avoid having to do a “big” once-a-week housecleaning that will take hours out of your weekend.
4 Areas To Automate In Your Business
Automation can seem overwhelming at first — where do you even start? You know that automation is, in some capacity, necessary to your business success.
You also know that you can’t do everything yourself manually, nor do you desire to. Automation gives you the ability to work on your business without working so much in your business. It allows you to have necessary steps that happen automatically without you getting involved.
In this section we’ll explore four common areas for business automation.
Social Media Automation
There are many marketing automation platforms and tools such as ContentStudio make automating your social media posts easy as pie. You simply queue up as many posts as you want, with or without images or video, and schedule them to publish, and you’re done!
You can spend an hour or two once a week and schedule up your posts to several different social media platforms at the same time.
After that, all you need to do is follow up and respond to comments on those posts, and you’re good to go!
Web Hosting And Management
Your website is the cornerstone of your online business, and your web hosting is the building that houses it, so it pays to have a web host that will do the maintenance you need so that you don’t have to worry about it.
This will keep your site(s) up and running, and as secure as they can be.
Try to find a web host with stellar support so that if something should go wrong, they’ll be immediately available to get your site back up again.
You’ve got to know your numbers. But this can be fiddly and overwhelming because you’re not just dealing with website traffic anymore.
Your best bet for automating this task is to find an all-in-one dashboard (such as Cyfe.com) that can analyze and give you data on your website traffic, as well as your social media engagement, Facebook or Adwords ads performance, keyword ranking information…and with just one place to log in to get this information, it’s a true gem!
Yes, you can use Google Analytics or AWStats, but the point here is to automate and free you up!
Help Desk Support
If you’re still answering support emails one by one, you need to get out of the dark ages and begin automating this task immediately!
There are so many excellent solutions for help desk automation — Freshdesk.com and Zendesk.com are just two of hundreds of providers who will allow you to utilize automatic responses, FAQ sections, and will save you hours of answering individual emails.
Having a centralised support portal is best for both your customers and you so look into implementing this change now.
So far, we have looked at some useful ways to automate many things in your life and business by mainly using technology.
But you can also delegate tasks to others so let’s look at that now.
3 Key Steps To Delegation
If you’re going to be a success in the business world, you need to learn to delegate those tasks you either don’t like doing or aren’t good at.
Delegation is a hard thing for some to do — those who like to be in control of anything find it difficult to give up that control to someone else.
On the other hand, since you’re an automation expert now, this quite possibly won’t be an issue for you.
The key is really in the balance — the balance between your ability to trust that others will complete the tasks given properly and on time, and making sure that those you delegate to have what they need from you to get the job done right.
Here are three steps that you can take to ensure that all the tasks you decide to delegate to others get done when you want, how you want.
- Set out very clear instructions for the tasks to be completed. This is the most important step and the one that you’ll have to put the most work of your own into. But doing so will ensure that you get the results you want.
First, outline what is to be done. Use visuals if necessary. If you were going to get a brand-new haircut, you would bring in several pictures to be sure that your vision was the same as the hairstylists, right? So set this up clearly, leaving nothing to guess at.
Also, spell out how the tasks are to be completed because you simply want them done correctly the first time. So, don’t leave this to chance.
- Be available to your team when they need you. Make certain that they have your contact information and clear instructions that if there is anything they don’t understand that they should contact you instead of making their own judgment call.
To facilitate this, you will need to be available to them when they need you. Never simply assume that your tasks are getting completed. Check on them, but not obsessively. This is supposed to make your life easier, remember?
- Improvise, adapt, and improve. To create as close to a hands-off experience as you can, after one project is done, get together with your team to decide what went well, what went wrong, and how to better facilitate success on the next project.
This level of intimacy is necessary for getting your hands-on time whittled down to next to nothing, thereby allowing you more laziness.
OK, so you are now an automation and delegation expert. But what about goal setting? Is it something you should always be focused on, especially if you are trying to slacken off and reduce your efforts?
Well, let’s see if setting goals is all it’s cracked up to be.
Give Your Goals The Boot
We’re told to make goals and stick with them. Make big goals! Make little goals! Make interim goals! Tell everyone your goals! Don’t tell anyone your goals! And in reality, your goals could very well be hurting you, instead of pushing you forward into success.
In the laid back success lifestyle, which you’re trying to achieve, you need less to do, not more, and goals are one thing that should go to the chopping block.
Here are five clues that goal setting may not be the right thing for you to focus on.
- You love to set goals, but you don’t accomplish them. Really, what’s the point in that, aside from subjecting yourself to the guilt of an unfinished task? If you’re a starter, but not a finisher, find someone to partner with who will finish the projects you start, and then you can both benefit.
- Are your actually taking action? Setting goals allow you to feel as if you’ve achieved something, but it’s just a mental game you play. It’s the action that follows the goal-setting that makes a difference, not the goal setting itself. Don’t mistake one for the other, and feel that just because you’ve set a goal, you’ve done something significant.
- Are your goals working for you? You feel that setting goals set you up for future success. Again, the success comes from doing — are you doing what you need to do to achieve that goal? You can’t secure a great future by setting goals and then letting them sit.
- You set goals because you’re supposed to. Everyone does it, so it must be a good thing to do, right? Not even close. Stop following the masses and begin making your own choices based on what you value, and what you want out of life. And then act on those things…goal or no goal.
- You feel you’re a nobody if you don’t accomplish your goals. Listen, the worth that you have in this world doesn’t have to do with what you do or don’t do. Your worth is infinite and it’s inside you — so why pressure yourself into doing stuff you don’t want to do?
By removing goals from your life, you may just feel a huge weight off your shoulders Especially if you’re just following everyone else who is setting goals, but don’t really feel it in your heart. Let go of that sense of guilt, let go of the goal setting, and just focus on the action!
Using automation, delegation etc. to get what you want in life all comes from having the correct mindset and this is why many entrepreneurs and business owners work on their thinking to achieve at the highest levels.
If you want to develop a good mindset for success, please click on the featured resource below for a free Strong Mindset report; download, read it and take action 😊