How to Improve Work Efficiency: Automate Your Tasks With the Right Tools

Just 20 percent of the working day is spent on important jobs, while 80 percent is wasted on tasks with little value. Productivity — the art of being efficient at work — can be tricky to achieve, especially with so many distractions: junk mail, noise, meetings, YouTube. There are several ways you can boost work efficiency, however. Automating mundane tasks frees up some of your time, which you can then spend on doing something more useful. Here’s how to improve productivity with the right tools.

Why Is Automation Important?

The biggest benefit of workload automation is increased productivity. Ultimately, you and your team can get more done in less time. Automation can also reduce labor costs and increase output.

When asked about the most important benefits of automation, more than 30 percent of businesses said this technology led to a reduction in costs, while more than 25 percent cited increased productivity. Availability, reliability and performance were three of the other benefits associated with workload automation. In a separate study, 79 percent of marketers said automation resulted in easier campaign management, while 77 percent said it improved sales.

Automation isn’t always effective, however. Software might not solve the problem you are trying to fix and could lead to bigger issues in the future. The key is to understand the part of your business that you want to automatebefore you invest in

Which Tasks Should You Automate?

You can automate various business tasks, such as note taking, invoice creation, and data sharing. Automated workflows, for example, foster better communication between members of your team. You can collaborate on projects more effectively, brainstorm ideas and make sure collective conversations are kept in one place. Automated software provides you with a personalized dashboard where you can communicate with other staff and share documents. You can delegate jobs to different teams and keep track of who is working on each task.

If you are a designer or a blogger, you can automate content creation. Web content management systems let you create, edit and distribute content — blog posts, graphics and so on — on the internet, saving you time and resources. This type of software streamlines scheduling so you can plan content in advance, helps you manage content and simplifies design changes. If you are a software engineer, software can also automate many of the menial administrative tasks associated with programming. You can write and test code for applications, for example. Other tasks you can automate includeform filling, email writing, and accounting.

Which Tools Are Best for Automation?

Pocket lets you save content from the internet to your mobile device so you can read it at a later time — even without a Wi-Fi connection. For example, the next time you find a design or programming article, save the link to your smartphone or tablet. With Pocket, you can use tags to find content on your device quickly and even listen to articles with text-to-speech.

QuickBooks automates accounting and is one of the top mobile apps for small businesses. You can save data in the cloud, so you can view it later and access insights such as sales reports. There are various pricing plans to choose from — QuickBooks Online Essentials and QuickBooks Premier, for example — or you can try the software for free.

Dropbox simplifies file sharing, and it’s ideal if you want to work on projects with staff and clients. Used by more than 500 million people, this software provides cloud storage, mobile file access and live file collaboration. You can even recover deleted files in the event of a security breach or a natural disaster. Get more from Dropbox by connecting it to your social media or Google Drive accounts. You will never have to manually share documents via email again.

iTranslate lets you compose and interpret text and speech in up to 90 languages if you need to communicate with international clients. The app simplifies communication and collaboration when traveling, helping you optimize networking opportunities and business trips. You can speak into your smartphone and let the program translate your words into a language of your choice.

Fantastical 2 for Mac is a calendar app that automates time management, letting you set reminders for events — meetings, appointments, networking opportunities — so you never miss a deadline. This app stores data in the cloud, letting you access it from anywhere in the world.

Wunderlist, a simple to-do list app that’s free to download and help you manage work efficiency. You can plan work projects, monitor deadlines, take notes and set reminders for upcoming events. All your data is backed up in the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere. You can also email your lists to clients and colleagues.

The latest software automates many business tasks that hinder productivity. These applications increase work efficiency, so you can spend more time on important jobs. Businesses say workload automation cuts costs, improves performance, increases reliability and computerizes various tasks in the workplace such as content creation, billing and sales. You too can automate business processes and create a more streamlined working environment by investing in this technology.