Technology & Innovation

Low-value task automation: How fast-paced businesses can focus on what’s important

Low Value Automation

Time is a precious resource. It goes hand in hand with urgency, which an entrepreneur knows, can pose challenges to growth.

Many entrepreneurs over-focus on the mundane tasks that may not contribute to pushing their success forward. The next customer meeting, product release or conference are all incredibly important, but entrepreneurs can’t forget to optimize around their most precious resource: time. It vitally important to stop, think and plan effectively. Research by Sage shows that nearly two-thirds of business owners (63 percent) feel they don’t manage their time effectively. A lack of focus can truly impact your bottom line.

Step #1 Determine what you spend your time on

Time might seem easy to quantify, but for the people involved it poses many challenges. Time tracking would be the obvious solution except for the fact that many people have very poor self-reporting biases. For many, it is an unpleasant obligation. It is therefore important to remind everyone involved of the aim of the exercise, i.e., to collect all relevant data. The data gathered will form the foundation of any future change.

Step #2  It’s all about growth importance, not growth urgency

Do you prioritize tasks based on your goals? Are you measuring your results?

The arbitrary chronological ordering of content in a feed does not indicate its priority or significance. It is essential to take a step back and look at the whole with fresh eyes. Can you differentiate between what’s important for growth and what’s not? At first, it might seem that all is equally important or urgent, but that is often not the case. The key here is to prioritize tasks according to their relative relevance.

Step #3 Remove administrative tasks: automation is here to help

We live in an incredibly technology-enabled time. Access to great automation tools is well within the grasp of non-specialists. It is therefore important to make use of all tools at our disposal. Automation takes away the pressure of complying with deadlines amongst other advantages. At its simplest, the system issues alerts and reminders to help keep compliance on track. It is also possible to set the system to issue automatic payment reminders to all customers. And did I mention payroll? Automation is a powerful tool in the sense that it reduces the time spent on tasks that are ultimately non-productive.

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