Productivity as a WAHM: Automate Whenever Possible

June 19th, 2009

Hi again, I’m Nicole Dean, and today is Day Five in my series of Guest Posts about “Productivity when Working from Home”. Today I’ll share one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an online entrepreneur.

Doing everything the SLOW way.

Let me give you an example from your day to day life.

Do you scrub all of your clothes in a stream on a washboard and then carry them back home in a basket and then hang them out to dry on the clothesline?

While I am a big fan of the clothesline part, since I love the smell of fresh clothes dried in the sun… I would certainly not drag my laundry down to a stream and scrub it by hand if I didn’t have to.

Why not? Because I use the right tool for the job. A washing machine and a dryer.

We usually use the right tools in our “real lives”. If there’s a way to make work get done faster and easier, we normally choose that option.

When my grass gets too long, I don’t grab the scissors or the tweezers. I get the lawn mower. Or I hire the neighbor kid, but that’s another story. I’m also a big fan of outsourcing.

So, why in our businesses do we do everything the hard way?

I have a theory about this. I think there are three reasons why people struggle and work too hard in the first place.

1. Not following ONE mentor who has done what you want to do and is where you want to be.

2. Not having a mastermind group to go to where you can ask questions and get solid actionable advice.

3. Not knowing the right questions to ask in the first place.

I’m a serious techno-phobe. I also really struggle with mechanical stuff, so I’m not one of those who’ll tell you to install some scripts to make your life better. (Ooh, that gave me a cold chill just saying that.) I’ve never installed a script. I have a hard time changing the printer ink cartridges in my laser printer. I’m a serious struggle-bunny when it comes to learning new things.

However, I’m also not stupid. I’m not going to waste my precious time every day doing things the hard way if there is a tool for the job that can save me hours each and every year by automating the process.

Which sounds the best to you?

Option 1: Spending time doing tedious stuff.

vs.

Option 2: Paying someone else to do tedious stuff.

vs.

Option 3: Having a computer do tedious stuff for free every day so that you can focus on making money and living your life.

I choose Option #3 (and I hope that’s the one you picked, too!)

Here are some examples where you might be cutting the grass with scissors instead of using a lawn mower when working in your business.

Blog Spam.

If you are manually deleting your blog spam, we need to have a chat. There are plugins that will screen your comments for you. My favorite at the moment is Aksimet. It seems to be more accurate than my old favorite which was Spam Karma.

Now that’s not rocket science. That’s common sense, but only if you know the right questions to ask in the first place and/or have mentors who are telling you these things when you’re starting out.

Twitter.

Now, before I get hate mail, no, I’m not suggesting that you take the “YOU” out of Twitter and have a computer tweeting for you. Twitter is about relationships. However, the auto DMs can be a pain in the bottom. Do you get tons of those? I used to, too. There is a free tool called TweetLater.com that will help you eliminate most of your DM’s.

Here’s what I use: Tweet Later

This service will also automatically follow people when they follow you so that you no longer have to click on new people and decide whether to follow them or not. I know that it’s fun to poke around and find new people, and you can still do that, but this keeps things running day in and day out so that you don’t have to.

Or you can choose to “Vet” followers using Tweetlater. That’s what I do now. I used to autofollow people and I may do it again, but there was a stretch where some gross people were slipping into Twitter and I was autofollowing them, which I wasn’t crazy about. So, the Vetting program is the next best thing for me. Every morning or every few days, I log in and TweetLater lists all of the people who have followed me in the last 24 hours, and they’re pre-marked “Follow”, “Ignore”, “Block”, or “Spam” based upon some settings that I chose. Actually they’ve pretty much nailed it. I change the ones that they mismarked. Then, I click “submit” and I can follow/ignore/block/spam 25 people at a time. That saves me time, and, more importantly, keeps me from feeling rude when I take a week’s vacation without internet and leave people waiting for me to follow them back.

There are countless examples. Nowadays a tool can be found that can pretty much do everything but go to the bathroom for you.

It’s about finding a Mastermind Group, a Mentor, and asking questions to get the right answers.

That’s it for my week here. But before I go, I’d like to invite you to learn more with me.

I have a free tutorial at www.WebTrafficBasics.com that is great for beginners that I recommend you check out.

I recommend you grab this free ecourse at List PROFIT System (from Jimmy D. Brown).

Follow my blog tour and listen to my podcast at my blog here: Nicole Dean’s Blog & Podcast

And, of course, follow me on Twitter: Nicole Dean on Twitter

I thank you again, Lexi, for inviting me. And, I thank all of my readers for following my Blog World Tour.

Warmly,
Nicole


3 Responses to “Productivity as a WAHM: Automate Whenever Possible”

  1. Mary on June 19, 2009 1:00 pm

    As a fairly new blogger, I have been manually deleting my spam emails, (or what I think is spam email). I say the Akismet plugin on there but wasn’t quite sure what the heck it did. Now, thanks to you, I know and will be putting that on my blog.

    Thanks Nicole for another week of great info.

  2. Courtney on June 19, 2009 6:58 pm

    Thanks Nicole, I have really enjoyed your series on productivity this week.

  3. Marya on June 26, 2009 8:55 pm

    This has been a really helpful series. Thanks, Nicole and Lexi!

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