Thursday, June 29, 2017

Being Productive Through Automation

As a professional organizer, I primarily work in homes and small businesses.  I help people emotionally detach from their things.  But during the sorting and purging process, I am also discussing how we can improve the work flow and make life easier.  Organizing and productivity go hand in hand.  So I wanted to share some ways you can be more productive at home and the office, specifically through automation.
noun  au·to·ma·tion \ˌȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən\
: automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system
by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor

First figure out what routine or mundane tasks bother you.  Is there a better way to do it?  Or is there a way to remind you to do it?  This can help those with procrastination too. 

Wardrobe:  Is there a uniform (same top/bottom) you can wear to work?  How about all those orphaned socks from the laundry?  Purchase the same type of socks in a couple of colors.  It will make your morning routine run more smoothly.  And sorting your laundry will be a breeze.

Food: Cook from the same rotating recipes.  Cook in big batches.  Or look into delivery services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.

Cleaning:  The last thing we want to do is spend the entire weekend cleaning.  Set up a schedule so you hit every area of the house.  Laundry on Sundays; bathrooms on Mondays etc.  Or, hire a house cleaner!

Shopping: Amazon’s Subscribe & Save sets up frequently used items and automatically ships them at the interval you set up.  And you get those items at a discounted rate.  And many of our grocery stores have a delivery service, like Giant’s Peapod.

Scheduling:  Use your smart phone to schedule routine things like testing your smoke detectors.  Or reminders to pay your estimated quarterly taxes.  Cut down on those pesky emails and use this service to one-click unsubscribe.

Social Media:  Create all your content then set up a time for it to post (Facebook has its own scheduler built in).

Admin:  Then there are always those administrative functions within your job that you have to do.
Consider hiring a VA (Virtual Assistant) to handle your social media posts, communications to clients, spreadsheets, bookkeeping or other projects.

Email Marketing:  Mailchimp is now offering marketing automation to all subscribers (paid or not).  This enables you to create a custom communication with your clients/leads then automatically sends it based on the type of action.  Examples: Send a thank you message after someone buys from your website, or a welcome note after they sign up for your e-newsletter.  Send out a note after an event.  Or send out a birthday card to your customers.

CRM:  (customer relationship management) Helps to manage your business relationships and the process/tasks involved.  Stay in touch with your clients and keep track of your leads through the sales funnel.  It’s really important for you to know what you need your CRM to do for you, so you pair up with the right one.  PC Magazine posted the Best CRM’s for 2017.

In summary, first examine if there is a better way to do something.  When it comes to using technology, do your homework.  Make sure it’s the right fit.  Investing your time and money in some of these systems are cheaper than you think.

Note:  RLN Organizing does not receive any compensation for any of the products/services mentioned above.

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