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For a healthy mind, body and business

How to use automation to improve productivity when working from home

desk with multiple devices with apps automation for productivity at home
Domenico Loia, Unsplash

Want to free up more time, understand how you spend your time, and waste less of it? Using automation to improve productivity has emerged as one of the better ways to help you when you work from home. Finding ways to streamline your daily tasks, and manage your workload is becoming increasingly important. You can use automation in various ways, whether you run your own business or work remotely for an employer.

Studies have shown that automation increases productivity and job satisfaction, especially when you combine the right tools. Along with artificial intelligence, you can also make your work-from-home experience more productive by using automation in some of the following ways. 

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Make better use of your time

If you want to use automation to start saving you time, you need to first understand where those savings can be made. This is where you can use automation to improve productivity by tracking how you spend your time. It will help you create better boundaries as well as give you a deeper understanding of your habits (good and bad).

Using time tracking software such as Rescue Time or Hour Stack, you can start to see where you are spending most of your time. This data can help you determine where you need to become more efficient and where you waste a lot of time. It can help you identify periods where you can focus for deeper work, and so allocate your time more effectively.

With this information, you start to see patterns emerging. It will help you establish healthier boundaries around your time working at home because you will find you make better use of your time during working hours and start to see where you drift into working in personal or family time.

Email management 

If the nature of your work means dealing with floods of emails daily, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to sort out and reply to every email. There are various aimple ways you can begin automating your email management.

Start by setting up email filters to categorise each incoming mail in order of priority, sender, email subject, or chosen keywords. Once done, create a template for standard replies to different emails.

You can also take advantage of scheduling tools and auto-responders. The scheduling tools will help ensure that emails are dispatched at the right time, while the auto-responders will inform your contacts when you’re available to reply to their emails. Automating this aspect of your email management can help you save time while easing your workload. 

Customer service

If you run a home business without a dedicated customer service team, you can automate your customer relations tasks in several ways to handle communications, follow-ups, and data management.

For customer communications, you can, for example, take advantage of live chat software for your website. Chat software and chatbots, especially the ones powered by AI, can handle all your customer concerns without needing a dedicated physical team 24/7. Such software can even help you collect important customer data that can help improve how you drive customer experience.

Regarding follow-ups, you can implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track interactions and automate follow-up reminders after specific events like a completed sale. Many email marketing platforms combine CRM to help you integrate these tasks.

Social media scheduling

Social media management plays a key role in any business whether you are creating content, posting, marketing, interacting with your followers or trying to reach out to more followers. The right social media scheduling tool can help you maintain a consistent online presence and engage with your followers, freeing up more time.

There are many social media management platforms you can choose from. Opt for one that allows you to schedule posts in advance across multiple online channels. Consider a content creation calendar to plan and organise your posts with the help of analytic tools to identify the best times to post content for maximum impact. 

Set task reminders

Staying on top of a to-do list is a challenge working from home with other distractions around. You can use task automation to improve productivity by setting reminders and making sure you meet all important deadlines.

You can use a task management tool or a digital to-do list with a reminder feature. This way, you can prioritise your tasks regarding deadline time, priority level or urgency. Next, synchronise your management tool with your online calendar to receive timely reminders on different devices.  

For lots of more tips and ideas to help you work from home more effectively and create a better work-life balance, sign up for our newsletter emails!

About the author

Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of  The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.

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