Biz Features

Things You Can Automate Now

by . December 17th, 2015

Running a new business isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re setting up a food truck or are coding the next Facebook — you will never find the time to do all the things you want to do.

Using traditional time management methods can get you pretty close, and they will work fine for most people. But still, no matter what you do, there ares still only 24 hours in a day. Moreover, the decisions you make on the little things can often end up using as much mental resources as the big ones.


MORE: Timeless Time Management Tips for Small Businesses


What many laymen, especially newbie entrepreneurs don’t know is that many routine parts of their day is easily automated, and has been for years.

Only half of Americans for instance, are enrolled in any auto-pay setup despite their having been available for decades. A lot of people it seems can’t even adjust a thermostat properly — resulting in millions of dollars in accumulated energy expenses.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to take advantage of these systems and save yourself not only time, but precious willpower as well. Here’s MOD‘s take on it.

Here we cover a list of basic functions you can automate, freeing up valuable time to decide on the more important things, or even obviate the need to add additional manpower.


Home and office


  • Set scheduled clean up times instead of treating it like a massive project
  • Thermostats and humidistats
  • Set your air conditioner to keep the house or office comfy at optimal times.

Finances


  • Automatically pay your bills

Personal


  • Cook large batches of healthy food and just reheat over the course of the week.

Applications


While there are a bunch of programming languages you could use to do this, Python by far is the most popular for automating things quickly. There’s a learning curve, but if you have time (say six months to a year with regular study and hands-on practice or two years on and off), it’s well worth looking into. The manpower and time savings can be immense — especially important for start-ups on a limited budget.

Some things you can automate with Python:

  • Debugging
  • Web Scraping
  • Working with Excel Spreadsheets
  • Working with PDF and Word Documents
  • Working with CSV Files and JSON Data
  • Time, Scheduling Tasks, and Launching Programs
  • Sending Email and Text Messages
  • Manipulating Images
  • Controlling the Keyboard and Mouse with GUI Automation

There’s a reason “there’s an app for that” became a meme. Outside of learning a new programming language, there are also a ton of apps that can help you do most of these things right away. These range from automatically recording your phone calls and sending the whole thing to an e-mail address, or an app that automatically texts a specified recipient when you arrive at a location — both potentially useful for customer service. Use your computer and phone’s functions to automatically dim the display at night, and download specific items you need.


It always takes time to set the parameters of any automation system. But as willpower can be a valuable resource, it’s usually time well spent.


What other time management and automation tips can you share?


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