We can eke out every last drop of efficiency from our schedules, but there is only so much productivity our two hands and one brain can accomplish on their own.
This is where the rise of automated assistants and tech hacks come in to help fill in the gap. Here are some of the best ways to use technology to gain back hours of lost time we waste on administrative tasks.
1. Automate your emails
When you automate your emails, you no longer have to wake up early to time your email to a client’s inbox. You can be snoozing in while your computer does all the hard work of optimizing the perfect time to send an email. The latest version of Microsoft Outlook lets you delay the delivery of a message to when you want it to send. For those of us on Gmail, Boomerang is a Chrome extension also lets you schedule emails and set up reminders for yourself.
2. Automate your phone call errands
We can lose hours of our days waiting to be patched through to a customer service representative. Fancy Hands lets you use your phone to get others to do that for you.
It’s gained the endorsement of celebrities and CEOs like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. As lifestyle and beauty expert Eva Chen put it, “They’re the most helpful anytime you have to do a call where you know you’ll be on hold for three hours (hello, UNITED AIRLINES). They can call for you and patch you in when they have someone real/live on the line for you.
3. Automate remembering your password
With the rise of data breaches, making a strong password to be the gatekeeper to our private data is growing to be more of a necessity. But too often, I have wasted time trying and failing to remember an exhaustively-long office password. Now, there’s technology that will do the work of remembering all my long passwords for me. There are now online password managers like LastPass and Dashlane that will protect your unique strong passwords and automatically update them for you.
“I recommend for people to get a password app because once you start living more of your financial and paperwork life online, you really do need good passwords for everything, and the only way to do that is by using a password app, and that alone is a process,” organization expert Beth Penn told New York magazine.
4. Automate your small talk
Stuck on what to say in an email thread? Let machine learning decide for you. Google‘s Smart Reply has the power to scan your emails to suggest automated responses. If you are emailing about a Monday appointment, it will offer suggestions you can reply like “Let’s do Monday,” “Monday works for me,” or “Either day works for me.”
Similarly, Evernote also recently announced that it would use artificial intelligence to automate your note-taking workflow by scanning your text documents to suggest action items like scheduling appointments.
Ultimately, no matter where we are in our careers, we are all racing against the clock. Time is a finite resource for us all. It’s why getting back control of even small pockets of time can be so valuable. Free up your time to free up your mind!