How to Increase Your Productivity with Automations
We all want to make the best use of our time. We all want to maximize the limited number of hours we have in a day. In sum, we all want to be productive.
Automation is an incredible tool that can help us become more productive.
As busy business owners, there’s no way we can get everything done if we don’t automate. Little things will slip through the cracks that, when added up, become very big things. Eventually, our profitability and efficiency will decrease exponentially.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that we get questions on the topic of automation all the time. So, let’s dive into it. Apply these things and you can start saving yourself hours of time today.
What to Automate
There are some really “sexy” things we can automate like six-month-long drip campaigns and self-executing intake processes. Those are great automations that we should strive to get in place eventually. However, if we start there we will get overwhelmed. We should instead start with something that’s a little more basic but will still have an impact on the amount of time we spend on things in our businesses.
The first of these things is the repetitive tasks that you and your team are doing. Have a conversation with your team to figure out if they’re doing repetitive things that you’re not even aware of. These tasks might include adding email labels and folders, preparing documents, and finding and using contact information for clients. These might seem like silly things but if you were to stop and think about how much time you spend on them day to day, you would realize that automating them would save you so much time in the long run.
Secondly, automate things that cause you to do double data entry. Think about all the times when you copy and paste. Does your team type something into a form only for you to type it into another form? If so, find a way to automate those tasks.
In Google, there are tools called filters. It Outlook, they’re called rules. These tools have great features that allow you to manipulate your email and take care of it on a more automatic basis. For example, you can tell your email system to find a certain type of email and have it skip the inbox. Instead of going to your inbox, it can be auto-forward to a team member such as your assistant or put in a specific folder.
These automations can also allow you to auto-send templated responses. For example, every time you get a certain kind of email, it will send back a certain templated email.
Zapier allows you to use different apps together. For example, you can integrate your Gmail with your practice management software or your MailChimp with your thematics. When they are integrated, a certain action in one app will trigger a different action in another app.
To start using it, look at the website. Explore all of the triggers and actions they have that can help your apps work together. There is even a tool in Zapier where you can go in and type in two apps and it will make suggestions as to how you can use them together.
Consistency is Key
Often, we get super excited about this idea of automation and we start putting something in place immediately. However, in order for it to work, you have to be consistent.
All of your data has to be in the correct field in the software you’re using every time. All of your information has to be found in the same place on the calendar every time. Every email has to be formatted the same way every time.
Automations aren’t thinking on their own; they’re following rules that you’ve spelled out. Therefore, if your data isn’t consistent and your information isn’t gathered and collected in a consistent way, your automation will not work.
The way to create this consistency is through systems and procedures. Set up these systems and procedures by spelling out exactly who is doing what and when they’re doing it. This is the key that will make your automation execute flawlessly.
If you want to learn more about how to start setting up automations in your law firm, check out https://nextlevel.legal/episode/lfn005/