Structuring how we work does entail a certain amount of standardizing, meaning we create templates and materials to reuse rather than reinvent the wheel every time we do something that we have done before.
We establish and decide to maintain a certain order, and stick to it instead of changing it every time we need to file something away. If we have written a good reply to a question we got, we can reuse the written response the next time we get the same query. If we develop a method for doing something we do often, we will repeat the same procedure the next time we do the task instead of spending time and effort on changing the process.
This kind of standardizing does result in a certain degree of automation.
A member of the audience for one of my lectures asked me a question the other day which I have never gotten before: ”Will we stop thinking once we have automated tasks? Is there at least a risk that we do?”. He had testified to the benefits of automating to friends and colleagues himself, but gotten this argument as a response.
I would say the answer is both ”yes” and ”no”.
Yes, we will not think as much as before when needing to formulate texts we have written on previous occasion (since we have already composed that response or formulated that text).
No, we never ”stop” thinking (or being creative, if that is what we really mean), but we do get more time and focus for thinking about and creating the things, texts, methods and more which we have not developed or created before.
Thus, do not fear automating aspects of your workday.
Throughout the day today, notice or actively look for things you work on or with which you could reuse at some later date (to a greater extent than you already are).
Save documents as templates for the next time you are going to do something similar, create a ”quick-step” or shortcut for an operation you perform often, save snippets of texts that might be reusable in either the ”quick parts”-feature you use in Outlook or Word (if you do use them) or in the text-expansion tool you prefer (such as TextExpander).
Firm up your structure
If you standardize, reuse and automate things you create and do in your work, you will piece by piece mold a solid foundation onto which you can continue building and growing. More and more parts of your daily work will run smoother, even automatically, which gives you the opportunity to spend your time exploring whatever fascinates you most in your chosen field at the moment. Instead of being or feeling weighed and slowed down by routine tasks, you will get more things done with less effort.
What is your way?
What was the task or operation you most recently automated or simplified? Leave a comment below and tell us.