It may be my background in technology, but I find automation to be the greatest way to improve productivity.  This time-saving mechanism is not new either.  We can look back a hundred years to see where assembly lines and automation allowed us to progress rapidly.  In fact, computers are made for automation.

Automation is Not Just Technology

Even though computers have given us a wealth of automation options, there are low tech methods available as well.  At its essence, automation is the concept of “killing two birds with one stone.”  When we combine efforts or tasks through batching we get extra work done in the same time frame.  Thus, we automatically have less to do.  For example, I automate mail delivery by having my kids check the mail each day when they return from school.  It is no extra time for them and allows me to have mail delivered right to my desk automatically.

However, Technology Should Be Embraced

The goal of nearly every software application is to either save or consume our time.  For example, spreadsheets help us calculate formulas in seconds.  However, Facebook consumes days of time every week for millions of users.  Thus, we need to look for ways that technology can help us while avoiding the time wasters.

Fortunately, there are time-saving options all around us from the automatic deposit of our paycheck to electronic bill pay to mail filters.  The tasks we find ourselves doing every day are excellent targets for this sort of technology.  It is well worth your time to review your daily tasks and find ways to automate where possible.

Links and Resources

If This Then That:


Tools of Titans:

Balance Your Time in A Busy World: Tools and Techniques

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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