“Automate or Die”

There’s two types of learning:

1) “Just in case” learning: this is learning done in school. Geometry, geography, calculus, physics. Stuff you learn just in case you need it one day.

2) “Just in time” learning: this is learning that’s personal, timely and relevant. It’s just in time. “I can use this to make my life better right now.”

Today’s topic is something I hope you’ll find as just-in-time learning.

At my full-time job, I’m building out lots of reporting and automation right now. Stuff that’s going to be very cool and helpful when it’s done.

But the process of creating it all right now?

For someone of my skill set and tastes, it feels akin to trudging a marathon through thick molasses. It’s terrible. But here’s why the work of automating repeatable tasks and tracking important metrics is so crucial:

  • It gives you freedom – commodity tasks like billing people, entering data, depositing money into your Roth IRA or 401k, paying your own bills, or pulling reports to see how your business or department is performing are tedious. But when you build systems around them and automate them, you just got back the most precious resource of all: time.
  • It gives you confidence – when you ask most people (both in life and business) to reveal their habits, processes and results, they shiver. They hide behind the guise of “well, we’re working really hard…” or “we’re very busy.” Because being busy and working hard are great excuses for turning in poor results. They garner sympathy points. But being busy and working hard are choices. And so is automating and building. The latter requires greater upfront work, but it gives you so much freedom in the long-run.
  • It gives you valuable ($$$) skills – wanna make more money? Have more fun? Learn to love and excel at what other people hate. Most people hate automating and building systems. And that’s exactly why the experts in automation can charge a premium for their work.

Here are some things you can automate:

  • your gym schedule
  • your meal plans
  • your marketing
  • your sales outreach
  • your retirement contributions
  • your budget
  • your grocery delivery
  • expense reports
  • spreadsheet tracking

Imagine all the time you’ll get back if you automate those repeatable commodity tasks. Imagine how much more you’ll be able to focus energy on what you actually love?

“Automate or die.”

Shout out to Jack Butcher for inspiring this mini-article.

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