TIME TO RIDE #2: AUTOMATION

TODD BROWN


WE ALL WANT MORE TIME TO RIDE… this last quarter of the year we have made an effort to constrain our work time instead of letting it slice into the morning and then bleed all over the afternoon and evening.  The best thing we have done is focusing on automation.

The biggest step towards automation has been upgrading our order management software and fully integrating it with Quickbooks.  We went from complicated Excel documents to a beautiful and powerful online software.  This has saved us countless hours and allowed us to provide better service as well.

Next, was batching our email.  The automation here is to set the email to Out Of Office.  When people email for the first time they get an instant response that says “To better serve you we respond to email several times a day.  If your bike is on fire, call us.”  Then, we click Work Offline in Outlook and go through emails several times a day.  Click Work online, and the emails go out and new ones come in.  This allows us to focus on the bigger tasks of the day vs. wondering what the heck we got done at the end of the day.

Because we are constraining our work time, we all start at the same time and try and finish by the same time.  This means there is NO time for social media, hanging out, long smoke breaks, etc.  We are jamming full gas, but it’s more efficient because were all on the same program.  Get in, get it done, get out.

Working with a time constraint allows for massive action, kind of like that last day before going on vacation.  It requires real discipline.  It’s harder than it looks, but it actually allows us to be more productive.

Being more productive is a lot more fun.  It’s more of a game… trying to figure out various ways to get more done in our constrained time.

I won’t go so far as to call it play,

because that’s what we do the rest of the day.

 




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